Lorenzen Wright’s ex-wife will not be eligible for parole after pleading guilty to planning the 2010 assassination of the retired NBA player, serving a 30-year sentence, the Tennessee Parole Board said Monday.
The board voted to deny parole for Sherr Wright, who pleaded guilty in July 2019 to first-degree murder of her ex-husband. Board spokesman Dustin Kruger said in an email to The Associated Press that the decision came after three out of seven board members agreed to deny her release because of the gravity of her crime.
Sherr Wright appeared at a parole hearing on May 11 at the Nashville jail where she is being held. Wright said she did well in her post-release classes and had a support system to help her when she was released. Her two children speak on her behalf.
Lorenzen Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion, and others have spoken out against her early release. She said Sherra Wright should serve a full 30-year sentence.
Shera Wright accepted the hearing based on what she called a “safety valve” date, the earliest possible release date for some inmates under an executive order on prison overcrowding. The Tennessee Department of Justice said she received more than three years of credits related to her time of service.
Board member Barrett Ritchie presided over the hearing and recommended that the board deny parole. Her next parole hearing is scheduled for May 2027.
The murder of Lorenzen Wright is one of the most publicized murders in Memphis history. His decomposed body was found on July 28, 2010, in a swamp in east Memphis, covered in gunshot wounds. The 34-year-old father of six had been missing for several days before his body was found.
A native of Memphis, Wright was a 6-foot-11 center who played 13 seasons in the NBA before retiring after the 2008-2009 season.
Billy Ray Turner and Sherra Wright were charged with first-degree murder in December 2017, more than seven years after the murders. She made a surprising plea to the lesser charge of aiding and abetting murder, but Turner insisted he was innocent and stood trial. He was convicted of first-degree murder in March and sentenced to life in prison.
No motive was made clear during the trial, although prosecutors said the killer was jealous and greedy. Sherr Wright received $1 million from her ex-husband’s life insurance policy and settled a court dispute in 2014 over how she spent the insurance money, which was supposed to benefit her six children.