MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sherra Wright, ex-wife of slain NBA star Lorenzen Wright, has been denied parole.
The case needed three concurrent votes for a final decision. Wright was denied parole based on the seriousness of the defense, according to the press release.
WREG spoke with Lorenzen Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion who said she was not surprised that Wright was denied parole.
“Thank you, Jesus. That’s the only thing I can say,” Marion said. “Thank you Lord because he feels my pain. I am glad. She don’t need parole. I can’t have parole. If I could see my son, I would be glad for her to have parole.”
During the parole hearing, Wright apologized for her involvement in Lorenzen’s death.
“I’m sorry for what happened to him. I’m sorry because he’s not here. I’m sorry because my kids do not have their daddy,” she said.
However, Marion said she still was not taking any responsibility in her role of the killing.
“She don’t want to take responsibility for what she actually did,” Marion said. “She ain’t got no sorry in her heart. She hasn’t said ‘Deborah, I’m sorry for murdering your son or nothing.”
Two of Wright’s children, Lorenzen Jr. and Sophia, spoke on her behalf at the hearing. Lorenzen Jr. told the parole board, before breaking down in tears, that his mother has shown that she has changed by going to classes in jail.
Wright admitted to facilitating the 2010 murder of Lorenzen Wright and took a plea deal in 2019. The plea deal consisted of her being sentenced to 30 years and having to serve 30% of the sentence.
Billy Ray Turner was also convicted and sentenced to life in Lorenzen’s murder. Wright said during the parole hearing that Turner and Jimmie Martin, Wright’s cousin, were supposed to take Lorenzen’s money on the night he was killed.
“Billy got life, so she can do 30,” Marion said. “All three of them need to get life.”
Wright was already in jail before her plea and received jail credit for a total of three years. Martin got immunity for his testimony.
Sherra came up for parole early because of good behavior, time already served and prison overcrowding. District Attorney Amy Weirich, who spoke out against her early release, hopes new mandatory time will help avoid situations like this.
“A sentence needs to mean something in the State of Tennessee, and we will be able to do that in a better way once this Truth in Sentencing goes into effect July 1,” Weirich said. “This back and forth with families and victims to the parole board over and over again is not fair.”
The parole board set a review hearing in five years (May 2027). Marion said she plans to be present during the review hearing.
“I’m going to be in the same room she’s in,” she said. “I want her to feel my tension and see how I’m still hurting. I am going to be there every time they call her name. I’m not going anywhere. That was my first born.”
The parole board sent a letter to Sherra Wright outlining its decision and telling her to maintain a positive jail behavior to improve her chances of parole.