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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An arrest has been made in the killing of former basketball star Lorenzen Wright.

District Attorney Amy Weirich said Tuesday an indictment was returned by a grand jury against suspect Billy Turner for murder in the first degree.

“This is just an indictment. Mr. Turner will have his day in court. He is presumed innocent,” Weirich said.

Billy Turner

Turner, 46, was arrested Tuesday morning at the Express Mart on Highway 72 in Collierville and is being held on a $1 million bond.

A clerk at the store said Turner was a regular customer who came in every day. He owned a landscaping business and frequently joked with employees.

A friend who lived near the Collierville home Turner rented said Turner was a church deacon and wouldn’t do something like this.

“Not Billy Ray,” he said. “I find that hard to believe.”

A Tennessee criminal record for Billy R. Turner lists charges of aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping and cocaine sales, from 1992.

Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion, said she was told that an arrest had been made that morning. She was not familiar with the name Billy Turner.

“Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. You gotta pray for what you want and that’s what I did,” Marion said.

When asked what she wanted to see happen to the person responsible for killing her son, Marion replied, “I hope he gets 70 years in the penitentiary. I don’t want him to die, dying’s too good, that’s too easy. Anybody can die. I want him to suffer like I suffered.”

She said she was sure there would be more arrests.


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. The case has never been solved.

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 the murder of Wright.

The case is being handled by Chief Prosecutor Paul Hagerman of the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit, and Asst. Dist. Atty. Colin Campbell also of the MGU, which prosecutes homicide cases and other violent crimes associated with gang activity, specific targeted gang members or special cases assigned by the District Attorney General.