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Sherra Wright Tells Parole Board She Only ‘Indirectly’ Played a Role in Killing Her Basketball Star Husband Lorenzen Wright


A member of a Tennessee parole board has recommended denying parole to the ex-wife of an NBA star who was shot to death in 2010.

Sherra Wright, 51, had previously admitted to playing a role in the plot to kill her ex-husband Lorenzen Wright, 34.

During a basketball career spanning 13 years — from 1996 to 2009 — Lorenzen Wright played forward and center for the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and Cleveland Cavaliers. As Law&Crime previously reported, he disappeared in July 2010 and was found dead days later with multiple gunshot wounds. The case went cold for years.

Sherra pleaded guilty in 2019 to facilitation to commit murder and facilitation to commit attempted first-degree murder. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She had been charged alongside co-defendant Billy Turner, who was also allegedly her lover at the time.

Turner was convicted of first-degree murder in Lorenzen’s death and is serving a life sentence.

At her parole hearing Wednesday, Sherra Wright acknowledged that she was partially responsible for her ex-husband’s death, but she stopped short of saying she played a lead role in the killing — contrary to witness testimony at Turner’s trial. She also made wild accusations at the hearing against her ex-husband, Turner, and Jimmie Martin, a cousin of Sherra’s who has been implicated in Lorenzen’s killing but who was never charged.

Prosecutors said that Sherra Wright had recruited Martin and Turner to kill Lorenzen Wright. Martin, who has been convicted for murdering girlfriend Martha Jean Bownes in a separate incident, served as the state’s star witness against Sherra. Based on Martin’s version of events, the state claimed that Sherra and Turner both hunted down Lorenzen on the early morning of July 19, 2010. Turner opened fire, cutting short Lorenzen’s call to 911.

Martin claimed he did not personally help kill Lorenzen or see it happen — just that he participated in cleaning it up. However, he testified that he and Turner had gone to Lorenzen’s house in Atlanta, where Sherra left a window open for them to enter, in what ended up being a botched murder attempt. According to Martin, he and Turner did not find Lorenzen sleeping as they expected and instead saw someone else.

Sherra Wright.  (Image via WREG screengrab.)

Sherra Wright. (Image via WREG screengrab.)

“Your Cousin Got Me F’ed Up.”

Prosecutors said that Sherra was the leader of the plot to kill Lorenzen, but that’s not what she claimed at Wednesday’s parole hearing.

Barrett Rich, a member of Tennessee’s state parole board, pressed her on her version of events, asking her, “Did you plot and conspire to kill your former husband?”

“Indirectly, yes sir,” she said.

While she admitted to sending “those people” to Lorenzen’s home, she denied unlocking a window for them. She claimed that her late ex-husband was physically abusive and that he owed a lot of people money after getting involved in the drug trade

Sherra said she couldn’t deal with her husband’s drug dealings; she added that Lorenzen had “suicidal attempts on his end” and that she filed for divorce and moved away. Both Turner and Martin were involved in the drug trade as well, she said, and engaged in “power plays” against each other “because one of them wanted to be the man, and one of them wanted to make the most money.”

In Sherra’s version of events, things came to a head after Lorenzen purportedly went into hiding. Her son was approached at school and was threatened, she said, not naming the person who did it. She also said that people had come to her home looking for Lorenzen.

Sherra said her ex-husband eventually went missing after Martin failed to give him money. Lorenzen allegedly told Sherra that he was going to grab $110,000 for a meeting.

“‘Your cousin got me F’ed up,'” she quoted Lorenzen as saying in this version of events. “‘I’m going to tell you that right now, and if this don’t go the way that it’s supposed to go,’ he said, ‘I’m going to F you up when I get back.'”

Sherra said she refused to join Lorenzen for this meeting because they could not get a babysitter for the children, but they managed to text Turner to join Lorenzen for the meeting.

Turner’s defense attacked Martin’s credibility at trial, saying Martin was acting out of self-interest after being convicted of Bownes’ murder. The state also presented other evidence of Sherra’s alleged involvement in her husband’s death, including testimony from another cousin.

“It’s him or me,” Sherra said about Lorenzen, according to testimony from her cousin Claudia Robinson. “He has a hit on me. He has to be gone.”

Turner’s defense attacked Robinson’s credibility at trial, implying that she had been paid “hush money” and pointing out that she did not tell authorities about this alleged conversation until 2017.

Sherra Wright’s mugshot.

“You’re Already Convicted.”

At Wednesday’s hearing, Rich, the parole board member, did not give any credence to Sherra Wright’s story.

“I don’t have ‘indirectly’ by the facts of the offense from what I have, and that’s what I’m trying to figure out,” he said. “And I’m not relitigating this offense. You’re already convicted.”

“And from what I understand, you wanted them to kill Lorenzen,” he later said.

Rich emphasized testimony about Sherra’s opening of the window of Lorenzen’s home to facilitate a hit. He also raised other testimony that Sherra had lured Lorenzen back with sexually explicit text messages. She took substantial steps to clean up the crime, including borrowing a metal detector to find bullet casings, he said.

“I understand what you have in front of you,” Sherra Wright told Rich in an attempted retort to that evidence.

She said she “took the plea deal because it was in my best interests. I was very depressed about that. And I felt like I was responsible for Lorenzen’s death in a lot of ways.”

Sherra and Lorenzen’s son Lorenzen Wright Jr. appeared at the hearing to support his mother. He said he was indeed threatened in summer school years ago. He read a letter on behalf of his bother Lamar, who wrote that their mother was a victim of domestic violence.

Their sister Lauren also spoke.

Lorenzen’s family, including his mother Deborah Marion and great uncle Lorenzen Searcy Jr. opposed Sherra Wright’s potential release, saying that she needed to serve the entire 30-year sentence.

Memphis police Sgt. Tony Parks said that Sherra Wright did not bring up the alleged drug dealing back in 2010.

Rich ultimately recommended her parole be denied. Other members have yet to make their decision.

[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]

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