MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A judge sentenced Billy Ray Turner, the man charged with killing former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, to 16 years in prison on separate gun charges.
It was Turner’s first time in court since his co-defendant, Sherra Wright, pleaded guilty.
This is Turner’s 9th felony conviction. He faced anywhere from 12 to 20 years in prison for being a felon in possession a weapon. But as promised, Judge Lee Coffee took Turner’s guilty plea into consideration when deciding his punishment.
“I trust this judge. A good judge, strong judge. A hardworking judge and we are pleased with the sentence,” said Shelby County prosecutor, Paul Haggerman.
Turner took a plea deal in June as his trial for the gun charges was set to begin.
Turner was indicted in December 2017 for being a convicted felon in possession of weapons. As part of a plea deal in June, Turner pleaded guilty to one of the two charges after it was learned the second weapon belonged with Turner’s fiancée.
Thursday morning the state put three witnesses on the stand who spoke about evidence found inside Turner’s home and vehicles; from the shotgun said to be in the home for protection found by Memphis investigators during the 2017 search to the ammunition and gun holster found inside Turner’s vehicles.
Turner’s attorney, John Keith Perry, argued investigators could not prove the items found in the vehicle belonged to his client.
Now with a little more than a month from Turner’s trial for the murder charge, attorneys are now focused on the September trial.
“There is nobody saying that they saw him shoot anyone, there is no one saying that they saw him lay out a plan to shoot anyone. There is nobody else who cooperates what this convicted murderer says was supposedly told to him,” said Perry.
Turner’s attorney claims there is no evidence to support the theory he was hired by Sherra Wright to kill her ex-husband, Lorenzen Wright.
Turner is still scheduled to go on trial on September 16th for Wright’s murder after Sherra Wright’s plea and 30 year sentence last month.
Turner pleaded not guilty to Wright’s murder.