MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Billy Turner, the man accused of killing basketball star Lorenzen Wright, pleaded not guilty in a Shelby County courtroom Tuesday morning.
During an arraignment hearing packed with friends and family representing both sides, the defendant's lawyers were granted a 60 days reset of the case in order to review the evidence and put together their client's defense.
Attorney John Keith Perry of Southaven says he was hired by Turner's family over the weekend. He says Turner is still trying to sort out all that's happened in just one week.
"I don't think that there should be a rush to judgment at any point, particularly with a case that is 7 years old," said the attorney. "He has a number of clients that he does landscaping work for, and all of sudden that life stops and he is in custody. He is not doing well in that vane."
Lorenzen Wright's family and friends were in the courtroom during the hearing and were anxiously waiting the developments in the case.
Wright's mom, Deborah Marion, appeared to be more subdued after an outburst last week when she yelled at Turner asking why he killed her son.
"They told me to just settle down," said Marion. "The judge said that was why he moved back to Memphis, because his father got murdered. My father died on the 29th. It wasn't the same feeling as when my son was murdered. It's a totally different something."
When Turner's attorney asked for more time to get up to speed on the case, it was reset to January 29th.
"I didn't understand the problem with the delay. I wonder how long can they do this...on and on and on. I want a date to stop and get where we need to be," said Lorenzen's mother.
In the meantime, the judge encouraged both families to be respectful and patient, saying it will take a while for the case to be resolved.
Wright, who played for both the Memphis Grizzlies and University of Memphis Tigers, was killed in July 2010. His body was found a week later, on July 28, in a field near Hacks Cross and Winchester.
Last month, Memphis Police located a gun in a lake on County Road 302 in Walnut, Mississippi that was believed to be the weapon used in Wright's murder. Several weeks later, Turner was arrested inside an Express Mart on Highway 72 in Collierville.