MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The trial for the last suspect facing charges in the Lorenzen Wright murder case began with jury selection Monday.

After years of delays due to COVID, Billy Ray Turner’s case finally appeared before a judge Monday. Turner has been in jail since 2017.

The trial will continue on Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m.

“We know that Memphis has waited 12 years for this. Lorenzen was killed in 2010 and we’re finally here on trial day,” District Attorney Hagerman said.

Billy Ray Turner

There are a total of seven white and eight black jurors. The 15 jurors are also split between eight females and seven males.

The jurors who will decide Billy Turner’s fate are being questioned on how much they know about the murder case. The judge already instructing them they won’t be going home anytime soon and not to watch any media about the case.

The prosecuting attorney, Paul Hagerman, hinting early, this will be a long process. Hagerman said he expects it will be a “long hard trial” of about 10 days, including weekends. Wright’s family is expected in the courtroom Tuesday, he said.

The trial is expected to last two weeks, and the jury could be sequestered.

“I’m confident we can get a jury that is fair and impartial. It will take some work today. And hopefully, today, maybe tomorrow. It’s trial started,” Hagerman said. “They’re going to make sacrifices because they’re going to be sequestered  for at least for a week. It’s going to be hard trial and the jurors have to make some real sacrifices and do this thing.”

Prosecutors say Turner, Wright’s ex-wife Sherra Wright and a third person conspired to kill Lorenzen Wright in Atlanta before his 2010 murder.

Shortly after the gun used to kill Wright was found in a Mississippi lake in November 2017, police honed in on Turner, a local yard man, and church deacon.

Turner has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy and could face life in prison if convicted. His attorney has denied his involvement.

“He’s never said that he had a firearm related to killing anyone at all and we stand on that,” John K. Perry said, Billy Ray Turner’s attorney.

He was arrested at the Express Mart on Highway 72 in Collierville on Dec. 5, 2017.

Police linked him to Sherra, stating that she and Billy went to church together. They were even linked together in a relationship. Sherra was said to have recruited him to kill Lorenzen.

Billy Ray Turner’s attorney has denied his involvement in the basketball player’s murder.

Turner has a lengthy criminal history, with charges of burglary, assault and even kidnapping, including four misdemeanor convictions and five felony convictions. When he was arrested, he was found to be a felon in possession of a handgun and had to deal with those charges first. He took a plea and got 16 Years.

It isn’t clear if Sherra Wright will be called as a witness in Turner’s case. After pleading to facilitating the murder, she got a 30-year sentence, leaving Turner as the only one to face a trial in the killing.

But her cousin, Jimmie Martin, who led police to the gun that killed Lorenzen Wright and then to Billy Ray Turner, is expected to be in court. He is a big part to this case being solved after all these years.

Martin is also a convicted murderer, serving time for the killing of his girlfriend. Turners attorneys will be pointing that out.

Other witnesses are expected to be Turner’s church members and family.