Man arrested for 2010 murder of NBA star Lorenzen Wright

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A man who officers say killed basketball star Lorenzen Wright is behind bars.

Shelby County District Attorney's Office and Memphis Police Department held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce the arrest.

Billy Turner, 46, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Wright. Investigators said he was indicted and arrested Tuesday.

(Pictured above: Billy Turner)

Turner was arrested after eating breakfast at Collierville Express Mart on US 72. Surveillance video shows officers handcuffing Turner as he tried to pay for his breakfast and get a coffee refill.

Turner is in custody on a $1 million bond.

DA Amy Weirich said this is a pending indictment and an ongoing investigation. She said there is no court date set for Turner.

"I will say this now and probably several times. This is a pending indictment. This is an ongoing investigation. Because of those two factors, there is very little that I can legally or ethically say," Weirich said. "The district attorney's office understands as well as the law enforcement partners behind me this afternoon, how much the community wants to know as much as they can."

Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings said he also could not discuss the investigation because it is ongoing.

Wright's family said the news is like an early Christmas present.

"It's the best news I've heard all year," Wright's mother, Deborah Marion, said. "If I had been driving, we probably would've have flipped. I just couldn't believe it."

Marion said she heard about the arrest from local news media. She said she immediately called MPD investigators and heard confirmation for the news she's been waiting on for seven years.

"Thank you Jesus. If it wasn't for the good Lord, I'd still be walking around with my head down like this here saying Jesus when, when, when," Marion said.

Marion said she doesn't know any connection her son had with Turner. In fact, she said she'd never heard the name before Tuesday.

WMC Action News 5 spoke with people who lived near Turner. They said he lived with and cared for his grandmother. They also said Turner ran a lawn mowing business and previously did work at Wright's home.

"He was renting the house two doors down. And he was a lawn guy--very nice guy, you know?" neighbor Tony Carroll said. "Never would think he was involved in something like that."

An employee who works at the Collierville Express Mart, where Turner was arrested, said he was a regular customer. She said he came in every day to buy food or gas.

"He's just a great guy to be around," Aimen Alaina said. "I would never thought this happened. I was in disbelief when I saw it."

People in the north Memphis neighborhood where Turner lives heard law enforcement ramming Turner's front door.

"They was over there and they was there for hours," said one neighbor who did not want to be identified. "They busted the door and I seen the yellow tape and that scared me."

Turner's neighbors were stunned by his arrest and said he is a great guy.

However, one neighbor said Turner's landscaping business is his connection to Lorenzen Wright.

Tony Carroll said Turner talked about some of his high-profile customers, which included Wright. Wright.

"This past summer it's been a while back he was talking about his business. you know he had some high-profile customers, you know and Lorenzen Wright was one of his customers," Carroll said.

He was last seen on July 18 when he left the home of his ex-wife. Germantown Police Department received a phone 911 call from Wright's phone the next morning, but the call was interrupted by gunfire.

His body was discovered July 28 in a wooded area west of Hacks Cross Road.

Last month, investigators found the gun used to murder Wright in a lake in Walnut, Mississippi. Investigators would not say if the gun that was found directly led to Turner's arrest.

Wright played basketball for Booker T. Washington High School and University of Memphis before being drafted. He was drafted into the NBA following his sophomore year. He played for Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

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