Billy Ray Turner sentenced to life in prison, additional 41 years in Lorenzen Wright murder case

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 9:58 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2022 at 12:23 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Billy Ray Turner appeared in court Friday for sentencing in connection to the 2017 murder of NBA star Lorenzen Wright.

Back in March, a jury returned guilty verdicts for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder concluding Turner’s trial.

On Friday, he was back in court for sentencing. He is sentenced to life in prison with an additional 41 years behind bars for criminal attempted murder and conspiracy. A life sentence in Tennessee is 51 years.

His sentence also includes 16 years for a felony gun possession charge.

Wright’s mother Deborah Marion took the stand to give a victim impact statement regarding his sentencing Friday.

She tearfully spoke of her grandchildren being without their father and how much she loved her son.

Following Marion’s statement, prosecuting Attorney Paul Hagerman argued though Wright’s ex-wife Sherra was the leader of the murder plot, Turner was the gunman. Hagerman said he acted as a hitman recruited by Sherra.

“He was recruited by Ms. Wright in at least two meetings at her house when in cold blood, they discussed the murder of Lorenzen Wright,” said Hagerman. “According to testimony, they also discussed when and where this should happen and concocted a plan and executed it, and Mr. Turner was, in fact, the executioner.”

Prosecutors have consistently pushed for Turner to serve his sentences consecutively.

A motion for a new trial is expected to be filed on Aug. 5 when Turner is set to appear in court again.

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