MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A judge has ruled that Billy Ray Turner will serve two 25-year sentences for his convictions in the Lorenzen Wright murder case.
Billy Ray Turner appeared in court Friday for a sentencing hearing.
Turner was sentenced to 25 years for conspiracy to commit murder and 25 years for attempted murder. Those sentences will be served concurrently.
However, those sentences will run consecutively with his life sentence for the first degree murder conviction. Plus, Turner is serving a 16-year sentence after he pled guilty to a gun charge in 2019.
The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office says Turner’s total sentence is life plus 41 years.
“A life sentence presently has no parole,” said prosecuting attorney Paul Hagerman. “So, right now as you asked, it is 51 years day for day. The 41-year sentence is served at 30 percent. So, after 51 years, after 30 percent of 41, which may be around 10 or 15 years, something like that, when presumably he would be eligible for parole.”
Turner is 51 years old. He will be at least 97 years old before he could possibly get out. It means he may never be free again.
Lorenzen’s mother, Deborah Marion, was the only witness called to testify about how the killing hit her and the family.
“That was Lorenzen Wright,” Marion said. “Now, we don’t have nobody near like him.”
Marion praised Turner’s sentencing.
“Thank you, Jesus,” Marion said. “He needs to go.”
Marion said while Turner can still speak with his family while he’s behind bars, she can’t talk to Lorenzen.
“So, he’s getting what he deserves,” she said.
The prosecution said Lorenzen’s ex-wife Sherra may have plotted the killing, but Turner carried it out. They said with his lengthy criminal record, and his prior gun conviction, he should get the maximum time and have the sentences run consecutively, meaning even more time in jail.
Turner’s lawyer John Keith Perry says his client maintains his innocence and wants to appeal the murder conviction. Perry says no testimony proved Turner planned anything or laid out any demands.
Based on the evidence, the defense says Turner is not a high risk. He had not been in legal trouble from 1992-2010.
Turner was sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder conviction earlier this year. He faced 15 to 20 years for each of the other two charges.
Sherra is serving a 30-year sentence for facilitation of murder, a Class A felony that she pled guilty to in 2019.
Turner will be back in court August 5 with a motion for a new trial.