MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nearly a week after a jury convicted Billy Ray Turner in the Lorenzen Wright murder, his family returned to his gravesite to pay respects Sunday evening.
Wright’s mother has been coming to his grave since he died in 2010, but for the first time in a long time she felt a sense of peace there. For the last 11 years, Deborah Marion has been running for justice for her son.
“I couldn’t stop, he leaving today too, I couldn’t stop today,” she said. “He was telling me do not stop, do not stop.”
Marion and her sister reunited with Lorenzen’s son, Shamar Wright, at Calvary Cemetery after nearly a decade apart.
“It’s just a lot to process, it’s a lot going on,” Shamar Wright said. “I don’t know, I’m just trying to process it all.”
Now at 22 years old, Shamar is following in his dad’s footsteps and playing college basketball in Illinois. Despite his mom being incarcerated and his dad deceased, he has not let his circumstances define him.
“Always moving forward, always pushing forward, that is something that I’m pretty much focused on,” he said. “Everything happens for a reason, I live by that. So, I just keep on trying to shine a light on you can make it through bad things.”
The marathon came to a conclusion last week when a jury convicted Turner in his murder, becoming the second person charged. Wright’s ex-wife Sherra was previously sentenced to 30 years for facilitating the murder.
“Man couldn’t do what God did,” Marion said. “He freed me. It’s like my heart been covered in ice, now some heat done got on it and melted. Now I can go forward and quit thinking about bad stuff because something good done happened out of all this.”
While the quest for justice has come to an end, Marion’s inspiration for her race will always live on for the years to come.
“We got to get together, together,” she said. “As a family, that’s what he would have wanted. His kids with his mama, he know this what we do.”
Next month, Marion is hosting an event with family and friends in celebration of the conviction and in memory of her late son, Lorenzen Wright.