Judge denies motion to suppress wiretap evidence in Sherra Wright, Billy Turner trial

Wright, Turner back in court as judge hears more motions

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A judge has denied a motion to suppress evidence in the trial of two people accused of killing former Memphis tiger and NBA star Lorenzen Wright.

Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra Wright, and Billy Turner are charged with first-degree murder.

Defense attorneys on Thursday asked the judge to suppress wiretapped conversations between Wright and Turner when they go to trial in September, but the judge denied the motion.

Sherra Wright's defense attorney Juni Ganguli said he was hoping to hear from the officer who wrote an application for a wiretap that will be used in the Lorenzen Wright murder case.

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

Ganguli argued there wasn't enough probable cause for the judge to sign off on the warrant in the first place and wanted the officer to testify to hear his reasoning.

Judge Coffee ultimately denied the request saying there was more than enough probable cause.

"The wiretap as you heard was based upon new probable cause developed since the initial investigation,” said Paul Hagerman, prosecutor.

Hagerman said new evidence includes investigators finding the murder weapon in 2017 and statements made from a man named Jimmy Martin, Wright's cousin, who admitted to being involved in the NBA star's death.

Martin knew details about the crime that were never released to the public, including testimony of cut barbed wire near the crime scene, as well as leading police to the murder weapon. That is why Wright’s defense believe Martin should be charged with murder instead of their client.

"He’s the one who provided again an alleged story, the location of the gun, and the gun found matches the bullets found in Mr. Wright’s body. Again that just points to Jimmy Martin as being the murderer,” said Laurie Hall, Wright’s attorney.

Earlier this week, defense attorneys withdrew a motion for a change of venue, just one of half a dozen motions filed in recent months.

Attorneys withdraw change of venue request in Wright, Turner trial

Hagerman said he is requesting the jury be sequestered.

"It's important that the people that hear the trial and proof make their determination with the proof that's in front of them in court and not what they see on tv that night," Hagerman said.

Judge Coffee says he hopes the trial will be concluded by the end of the year.

Turner’s lawyer also filed a motion to learn any information about deals given to witnesses in exchange for testimony when the pair goes to trial in September.

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