Bond set at $15 million for defendant in Lorenzen Wright murder

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of Sherra Wright's counsins was named Friday as an alleged conspirator in the death of former NBA star Lorenzen Wright, as a $15 million bond was set for defendant Billy Ray Turner.

A bond hearing for Wright's ex-wife, Sherra Wright, was postponed until May 30, but Turner's hearing proceeded.

A judge set Turner's bond at $15 million.

Attorneys read a long affidavit describing the alleged murder plot during the hearing. It hinged on a cousin of Sherra Wright named Jimmy Martin, who told investigators that he had been part of an earlier plot with Turner to kill Wright in his Atlanta home, and that Sherra Wright had opened a door for them to get inside the house.

When Martin and Turner entered the house, though, they saw a man inside who was not Lorenzen Wright. Their plot foiled, they returned to Mississippi, the transcript stated.

The affidavit said Sherra Wright and Billy Turner were in a sexual relationship. It also says Sherra Wright lured Lorenzen Wright to Tennessee with sexual text messages before his murder.

Later, after Lorenzen Wright was killed in Memphis, Martin told investigators that he helped Sherra Wright and Turner clean up the crime scene and used a metal detector to find a gun that was later thrown into a lake in Walnut, Mississippi.

That gun's discovery last year was pivotal in the case.

Turner's defense attorney then placed the blame on Martin, saying he is the person who killed Lorenzen Wright.

He then asked for a $150,000 bond to be granted. The prosecution asked for a $10 million bond. The judge set it at $15 million.

WREG reached out to Jimmy Martin's father, who said he had just heard about the new development Friday.

“If he’s guilty, I want to see justice," Martin's father said. "I want to see justice on all cold cases.”

Wright and Turner are both charged in the 2011 murder. Lorenzen Wright's body was discovered in a field in Southeast Shelby County several days after he made a call for help to 911.

Turner's prior criminal record with past convictions including burglary, assault, cocaine and kidnapping came up.

His cousin testified on his behalf: "He's good as gold. He's one of the best in our family. We miss him so much. He's dependable. He's trustworthy. He's a churchgoer."

She admitted that Turner had made bad mistakes earlier in his life, however. She also said Turner had recently adopted a little boy.

All parties were scheduled for this bond hearing several weeks ago, but that court appearance was rescheduled due to another case.