Billy Ray Turner Wiki – Biography
On Monday, Billy Ray Turner is a Tennessee man. A jury convicted him in the slaying of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, whose bullet-riddled body was found in a field nearly 12 years ago in his hometown of Memphis.
The Associated Press (h/t ESPN) reported that Turner was sentenced to life in prison for the murder conviction and will still face sentencing on the other charges. Wright, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, was killed in July 2010 and found with bullets in his body in a field days after he had gone missing.
His age is unclear.
Lorenzen Wright Murder
According to prosecutors, Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra Wright, recruited Turner and her cousin, Jimmie Martin, to help her kill Lorenzen Wright.
Turner, who was arrested for Wright’s killing in 2017, was already serving a 16-year prison sentence on a separate gun charge. Sherra Wright was sentenced to 30 years in prison when she pleaded guilty to the facilitation of murder in 2019.
While neither Turner nor Sherra Wright testified during the trial, Martin, who is serving prison time from charges of killing his girlfriend, did and received immunity from prosecution in this case. He said his cousin helped him pay legal fees.
He also testified that his cousin lured her husband into the field by saying she planned on meeting someone who would give her money. According to Martin, that is when she and Turner chased and shot Wright.
Defence attorney John Keith Perry called Martin’s testimony “crazy” and “contrived.”
The jury heard a chilling 911 call made by Lorenzen Wright that captured the pop-pop-pop sound of multiple gunshots.
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Martin also said Turner and Wright got rid of evidence from the shooting scene, and he went with Turner to dispose of the weapon by dumping it in a north Mississippi lake. Martin said he told detectives in 2012 where the gun was located. FBI divers later found it.
Perry said Martin’s “crazy, contrived” story was not believable in closing arguments. Perry said Martin — not Turner — was in Memphis the night Lorenzen Wright was shot.
Prosecutor Paul Hagerman defended Martin’s testimony, saying Martin’s immunity agreement required him to tell the truth, and statements given to investigators and prosecutors have been consistent.