Turner, Wright attorneys ask for change of venue, suppression of wiretap

Turner, Wright attorneys ask for change of venue, suppression of wiretap

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Sherra Wright and Billy Turner, the two people accused of killing former Memphis Grizzlies star Lorenzen Wright, appeared in court again Thursday.

Wright, Lorenzen’s ex-wife, and Turner were both charged with the 2010 murder last year.

The murder trial is scheduled for Sept. 16, but their attorneys have filed a host of motions in preparation for the case.

Lorenzen Wright (Source: Shelby County District Attorney's Office
Lorenzen Wright (Source: Shelby County District Attorney's Office

Wright’s attorneys Juni Ganguli and Laurie Hall filed six motions including:

  • Motion to suppress communications deprived from wiretap;  
  • motion to change venue to jurors from a separate county;
  • juror questionnaire;
  • motion for notice by the intent to use evidence;
  • specific discovery request; and
  • additional time to file pretrial motions.

"My concern at this point is that Sherra won't be able to get a fair trial because people just have a preconceived notion against her, and I'm not sure where that came from,” Ganguli said.

Ganguli is requesting jurors be brought in from Davidson County and each must take a 98-question questionnaire.

Turner, Wright attorneys ask for change of venue, suppression of wiretap

"It’s not only the fact that our client is perceived to be hated here, it’s also the fact that the victim is so loved by so many people here in this county that we feel that it necessitates the filing of the motion,” Hall added.

Turner’s attorney, John Keith Perry, filed close to a dozen motions Thursday ranging from suppression of any cellular telephone data to independently testing firearms, but before the trial in September Turner will stand trial on a separate gun possession case. Perry says he hopes that trial will be moved until after the murder trial for the sake of the jury.

State asks for time to review motions in Wright, Turner cases

“When you have a potential jury, we want to try to have the most fair individuals possible,” Perry said. “Don’t want them tainted one way or the other if possible, and have those individuals sit in judgment of Mr. Turner at trial and we think if given a fair slate, Mr. Turner will walk out with me.”

State prosecutor Paul Hagerman asked for more time for the state to review those motions. Wright and Turner will return to court Feb. 8 for a decision on the motions.

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