NASHVILLE (Tenn.) — Lorenzen Wright’s ex-wife should not receive early release from the 30-year sentence she received for plotting to kill the retired NBA player in 2010, a member of Tennessee Board of Parole said Wednesday.
Barrett Rich recommended that Sherra Wright be denied parole at Nashville's prison. She was being held there since her July 2019 plea to facilitation in first-degree killing.
Sherra Wright's parole case will now be reviewed by the remaining seven members of the board. Three votes are required to reach a final decision, which could take several weeks.
Sherra Wright was granted the hearing on the basis of her “safety valve date”, which is the earliest release date for inmates who are subject to an executive order concerning prison overcrowding. Tennessee's Department of Correction claimed that Wright has received credit for her time in Tennessee.
Lorenzen Wright's murder is one of the most well-publicized cases in Memphis history. On July 28, 2010, his body was discovered in a swampy area in east Memphis with bullet wounds. His body, a 34-year-old father of six, was missing for several days before it was found.
Wright, a Memphis native was a 6-foot, 11 inch center who played 13 seasons for the NBA before retiring after the 2008–2009 season.
Sherra Wright, Billy Ray Turner and Sherra Turner were indicted in December 2017 on charges of first-degree killing. This occurred more than seven decades after the crime. After she entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser charge, Turner claimed that he was innocent. He was convicted of first degree murder in March and sentenced for life in prison
Jimmie Martin, a third participant in the plot, testified at Turner's trial about the scheme. Martin was convicted in a separate case of murder following Wright's assassination and is currently in prison. Martin was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony which helped convict Turner.
The motive behind the killings was not established during the trial. However, prosecutors stated that they were motivated by jealousy as well as greed. Sherra Wright received $1million from her ex husband's life insurance policy. In 2014, she settled a dispute with the court over how she spent their insurance money.
Sherra Wright testified at the parole hearing. She said she has done well with classes that she is taking in prison, and that she has a support system to help when she is freed. Two of her kids spoke for her.
Deborah Marion, Lorenzen Wright's mom, was among those who spoke against her release. She said Sherra should serve all 30 years of her sentence.
Rich, the parole board member, was kind enough to praise Sherra Wright's performance in prison. However, Rich declined to support parole due to the seriousness of the crime to the which she pleaded guilty.