MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The uncle of Lorenzen Wright’s mother choked back tears just steps from a courtroom where Sherra Wright pleaded guilty Thursday to her role in the former NBA player’s murder.
“Right now the family feels relieved,” said Lorenzo Searcy, the uncle of Deborah Marion, Lorenzen Wright’s mother.
Facing trial for first-degree murder, Sherra Wright agreed to plead guilty to facilitation of murder.
Her appearance in court was not previously scheduled. Judge Lee Coffee sentenced her to 30 years in prison but she’ll be eligible for parole after serving 30-percent of her sentence, or nine years.
Searcy spoke with other family and friends just after the hearing.
“I lost a son about the same time she did, mine to cancer,” said Searcy. “I couldn’t feel her pain. No one can feel the pain of a person that has lost a child. Because your child is supposed to bury you, not you bury her child.”
Montae Nevels was friends with Lorenzen Wright since college and knew Sherra Wright well.
“Right now, I’m thinking we have finally got closure,” said Nevels. “What happened today was no surprise to me. I always knew that, I felt as though within myself, that it would never go to trial, that she would come forward and plead guilty to what happened.”
Nevels says he suspected she was involved in Lorenzen’s murder from the beginning.
“I felt like from moment one she had something to do with Lorenzen,” said Nevels. “I think she played all her cards to as much as she could play them and it came time now she had to step up and admit what she had done.”
Sherra Wright also pleaded guilty to facilitation of a previous murder attempt. The sentences will run concurrently and she will get credit for time served -- just less than two years.
This guilty plea comes just days after the nine-year anniversary of Lorenzen Wright’s murder. See a timeline of the case here leading up to the anniversary.