The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright pleaded not guilty Monday to murder charges in his death more than seven years ago.
Sherra Wright’s lawyers entered the plea in Shelby County criminal court in Tennessee. Wright wore an orange jail uniform and responded ‘no sir’ when asked by Judge Lee Coffee if she had any questions about the case.
She was arrested in December in Riverside County, California, more than seven years after Lorenzen Wright’s decomposing body was found in a suburban Memphis field. He was missing for 10 days before his body was found on July 28, 2010. He was shot multiple times – an autopsy report showed bullet fragments were lodged in Wright’s skull, chest and right forearm.
Sherra Wright, center, ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, appears in court on conspiracy and murder charges on Monday. She pleaded not guilty to his murder
Sherra and Lorenzen Wright (left) divorced in 2010. The $55 million he made during his 13-year NBA career was reportedly gone by the time of his death that same year
Courtesy of LocalMemphis
Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion has long suspected Sherra was behind her son’s murder, according to a Sports Illustrated report.
Her suspicions grew stronger in 2014 when Sherra wrote a book titled ‘Mr. Tell Me Anything,’ in which a the wife of a professional basketball player murders her husband.
According to a summary on Amazon, the female main character becomes frustrated with ‘the constant chaos surrounding women, new acquaintances, family, and greed.’
Eventually she ‘makes a life-altering decision.’
‘Does it work out for her good?’ the summary concludes ‘Did all his lies finally catch up to him? Would he or she pay the ultimate price?’
Sherra Wright, ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright, cries during a memorial service honoring the life of Lorenzen Wright on August 4, 2010 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
Sherra Wright, ex-wife of Lorenzen Wright and Herbert Wright Sr., father of Lorenzen Wright sit during a memorial service honoring the life of Lorenzen Wright on August 4, 2010
The $55 million Wright earned during his playing days was gone by the time of his death, according to SI.
As part of Permanent Parenting Plan filed in January 2010 as part of her divorce, Sherra demanded that Lorenzen take out a $1 million life insurance policy for the benefit of his sons and daughters in the event of his death
Court documents revealed in Shelby County, Tennessee back in 2013 showed that Sherra Wright, 41, lavishly spent $973,000 of the settlement within 10 months of receiving it – even though the money was designated to support the couple’s six children.
Sherra Wright penned a book in 2014 about a woman who kills her professional basketball player husband
That included a $11,750 for a trip to New York, $69,000 on furniture and a $7,100 deposit on a swimming pool – causing a legal battle between Wright and her former husband’s surviving family.
In a SI-Fox Sports investigation into Wright’s death in 2015 Sherra Wright was asked if she played a role in her late husband’s death, but she did not reveal anything.
‘At first, I’m a wife, then I’m a mother, and then thirdly I’m an author,’ she said. ‘The law enforcement should do what’s best to find out who’s the killer.’
Lorenzen Wright played for 13 seasons as a forward and center in the NBA, including several for the Grizzlies in Memphis, where he was born and raised.
Another person charged with first-degree murder in the case, Billy Turner, has pleaded not guilty. They are scheduled to appear in court on March 19. Turner, a landscaper, and Sherra Wright attended the same church, where she reportedly worked as a pastor.
Prosecutors could announce at the next hearing whether they plan to seek the death penalty.
Turner was indicted December 5, and Wright was indicted less than two weeks later. The seven-year investigation into his death has been one of the Memphis Police Department’s most high-profile unsolved cases.
Sherra Wright, center, ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, appears in court on conspiracy and murder charges on Monday
Another person charged with first-degree murder in the case, Billy Turner (left), has pleaded not guilty. They are scheduled to appear in court on March 19. Turner, a landscaper, and Sherra Wright (right) attended the same church, where she reportedly worked as a pastor
Sherra Wright allegedly made several attempts to kill her ex-husband.
The first attempt at killing Wright occurred between April and July 2010 and involved Turner traveling to Wright’s home near Atlanta, the Shelby County district attorney’s office says. The indictment said Sherra Wright and Turner acquired guns and recruited a co-conspirator, who was not named.
Months later, Wright and Turner traveled to the swampy suburban field to kill Wright, the district attorney’s office said.
Police said they got a break in the case when a gun used in the killing was found in November in a lake near Walnut, Mississippi, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Memphis.
Blake Ballin, one of Wright’s attorneys, said he visited her this past weekend and she ‘was not in the best of moods, was a little depressed about things.’ She was in higher spirits Monday, Ballin said.
‘It’s going to be that kind of a roller coaster,’ Ballin said.
Children and family of slain NBA basketball player Lorenzen Wright grieve at the casket of Wright during a memorial service at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., on August 4, 2010