‘Thank you, Jesus!’ Lorenzen Wright’s mother reacts to Turner sentence

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Billy Ray Turner, the man who was found guilty of killing Memphis Grizzlies star Lorenzen Wright in March, was given life plus 41 years, a 92 year sentence.

Even after the sentencing, the case has not yet been officially closed.

“Today was the day to find out exactly how many years all of this stuff amounted to,” said Shelby County Asst. DA Paul Hagerman.

That total sentence amounted to life plus 41 for Turner, coming from Shelby County Criminal Judge Lee Coffee: life for first-degree murder, two concurrent 25-year-sentences for conspiracy and attempted first-degree murder, and 16 years for felony in possession of a firearm.

The current life sentence in Tennessee is 51 years, with no possibility for parole in Turner’s case.

“These are incredibly violent crimes,” Hagerman said. “The family goes through hell to get these verdicts. We go through a fight in court to get these verdicts. 51 years seems about right for life and it’s worked well with us at least for the last 20 years.”

Friday’s sentencing was a huge weight lifted off the shoulders of Wright’s family.

“He’s getting what he deserves,” said Deborah Marion, Wright’s mother.

Marion now looks forward to spending her energy toward her family and away from this case.

“Thank you, Jesus! He (Turner) needed to go on,” she said. “I’ve got life. He can still talk to his family when he gets to wherever he’s going. I can go talk to Lorenzen, but he can’t talk to me.”

A routine motion for new trial was set, where Turner has the option to appeal his case.

Marion says at this point, it’s a lost cause for Turner.

“They need to just go on and send him home to his place where he’s going to be for the next... forever,” the mother said. “Go home! Be quiet! Shut up! What are you trying to... get an appeal? For what? You murdered somebody!”

According Hagerman, the case can finally be put to rest after the trial.

“The judge will make his ruling. It won’t affect sentencing at all. It’ll just be about legal issues during the trial or things that may be appealed by the defendant,” he said.

That motion for new trial is set for August 5.

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