Wright reward fund increases - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wright reward fund increases as state promises to match contributions

Lorenzen Wright (file photo) Lorenzen Wright (file photo)

(WMC-TV) – Additional money is being added to the reward fund for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Lorenzen Wright's killer.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong, Mayor A C Wharton, and District Attorney General Amy Weirich announced Monday the reward fund has been increased to $11,000.

The increase comes after the state of Tennessee added $5,000 to the fund, which had stood at $6,000.

The Tennessee Governor's Office will match any additional money added to the reward fund by other parties, up to $5,000.

Wright's body was found on July 28, 2010, days after he disappeared. The former NBA player had been shot multiple times.

In this 14 months Wright's murder, no one has been arrested, but his mother, Deborah Marion, has held steadfast.

"I'm not giving up," she said. "I'm not tired yet."

Not giving up, though according to Armstrong, Crime Stoppers has received fewer than 30 tips about Wright's murder.  Armstrong insisted, however, that it is not a cold case.

"We're still actively pursuing this case," he said. "This still is an active case with us."

Police and prosecutors hope the additional reward money will convince someone to come forward with some helpful information.

"Not only can Miss Marion not have any rest, but the community cannot rest until this killer or killers are brought to justice," she said.

Wright's sister, Savia Archie, hoped even the smallest tip would point investigators in the right direction.

"I feel like once they get the ball rolling we're going to get justice for what was done to my brother," she said.

Wright played basketball for both the Memphis Tigers in college, and the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA.

Until Monday, the reward fund for tips on Wright's killing was $2,000 less than that for a missing pit bull dog named Kapone.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said he seeking additional funds in case $11,000 isn't enough.

"We're going to push it as high as we can," he said. "This is simply the beginning.

But State Rep. G.A. Hardaway, who was also at the press conference, wondered why anyone would have to beg for money in exchange for tips.

"I'm calling out the NBA players that Lorenzen played with," he said. "I'm calling out the NBA owners, the millionaires and billionaires of those teams. I'm calling out those he did endorsements with. And all of his personal friends. Step up to the plate."

Wright's mother said she is soliciting help from the NBA, and several of Wright's former teams and teammates.

"I talk with the Grizzlies all the time," she said. "They call me all the time. They stay in contact."

Late Monday afternoon, Grizzlies President Greg Campbell voiced the team's intent to contribute $5,000 to the reward fund.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.

Powered by Frankly