MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Sherra Wright pleaded guilty of facilitation of murder in the case of her ex-husband, former NBA star Lorenzen Wright.
Sherra Wright made an unexpected court appearance Thursday where prosecutor Paul Hagerman announced the new plea.
The judge sentenced her to 30 years in prison but she’ll be eligible for parole after serving 30-percent of her time, or nine years. Sherra Wright is also getting credit for time served, which is just less than two years.
Lorenzen’s mother, Deborah Marion, spoke directly to Sherra in the courtroom. She thanked Sherra for giving her beautiful grandchildren and said she just wants to see them.
“It’s OK to talk to grandma,” Marion said. “We still love them. That is all I want is my grand kids. That’s it. I just hate what happened to my child. But he has some nice looking kids for his grandma. They want to see me, I want to see them.”
Marion said she was able to keep calm in the courtroom after thinking about her grandchildren. Marion said she is satisfied with the sentence because Lorenzen’s family can attend parole hearings, but she will push for Wright to serve the full 30 years.
“My son is serving life,” she said.
Marion made a point to look Sherra Wright in the eyes when discussing her grandchildren.
“She failed me,” Marion said.
Marion’s uncle said the family feels relief and he said he can forgive Sherra.
Lorenzen Wright disappeared in July 2010. On July 28, 10 days after his disappearance, his body was found in the woods in Memphis’ outskirts.
The case went cold for seven years until Billy Turner was charged with Lorenzen’s murder in December 2017. Sherra Wright was arrested 10 days later. Both were charged with first-degree murder and pleaded not guilty.
Police believe that Turner and Sherra Wright knew each other at the time of the murder and worked with a third person to help them kill Lorenzen.
Wright’s attorneys discussed the couple’s marriage. Attorney Juli Ganguli said there was detailed abuse of Lorenzen Wright on both Sherra Wright and their children.
“Mr. Wright would not leave her alone, and she recruited Billy Turner to kill Mr. Wright,” Ganguli said.
Ganguli said they have witnesses to the beatings and they would have gone into detail in a trial.
“The beatings weren’t just confined to Sherra. The children were the victims of the beatings too,” Ganguli said. “And I get nobody wants to hear that. It would be a “scorched Earth defense,” but in the end it might lead to a first-degree murder conviction, and that’s not something I could risk."
Wright’s attorneys said she felt she was in a bad position with Lorenzen and couldn’t get away and that led her to seek out a murder.
Sherra is the mother of Lorenzen’s six children and moved to Riverside, California after successfully suing to obtain access to her ex-husband’s life insurance and retirement funds.
She and Turner were set to begin a trial in September for the murder. Turner was originally schedule to appear in court on a gun charge Friday; that court date has now been moved to Aug. 8.