How did Lorenzen Wright die? NBA player's ex-wife Sherra Wright plotted his murder, here's why

How did Lorenzen Wright die? NBA player's ex-wife Sherra Wright plotted his murder, here's why
Lorenzen Wright #42 of the Memphis Grizzlies controls the ball against the New York Knicks during the game on December 7, 2004 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The death of Lorenzen Wright shocked the world. The NBA who previously played for the Memphis Grizzlies and the Atlanta Hawks was reported missing on July 22, 2010. However, police soon made a startling discovery -- Wright had been murdered. The details behind his death were far more startling, with two people convicted in the process.

With Grammy-winning artist Monica all set to host 'Infamy: When Fame Turns Deadly', the true-crime series that deep dives into multiple high profile cases such as Wright's. If this series makes it to your watch list, you should also consider 'If I Can't Have You: The Jodi Arias Story', 'The Serpent', 'Who Killed My Son?' and 'Finding Yingying'


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Who was Lorenzen Wright?

Born Lorenzen Vern-Gagne Wright on November 4, 1975, Wright was raised in Oxford, Mississippi. He played for Lafayette High School before moving to Memphis where he then played for Booker T Washington High School. His father Herb, was also a professional Basketball player, seeing that he competed in Finland and had a tryout with the Utah Jazz. He was initially drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1996 NBA Draft and then later moved to the Atlanta Hawks in 1999. He played for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001 but returned to the Hawks in 2006.

22 Dec 2000: Lorenzen Wright #42 of the Atlanta Hawks looks to pass the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Hawks defeated the Raptors 78-72.  Credit: Robert Laberge /Allsport

A look at his tragic death

As per his ex-wife, Wright left his home in Collierville, Tennessee, on July 18, 2010, with drugs and money, and was not seen or heard from again. A missing person report was filed shortly after on July 22. Wright's body was then found on July 28, and a 911 call had been made from his cellphone. The caller was speaking to the dispatcher when gunshots were heard. However, the dispatcher didn't report the same to her supervisor until eight days later, hindering the investigation. Although ruled as a homicide, on November 9, 2017, a gun believed to be the murder weapon was found in Walnut Lake, Mississippi.

Who was convicted?

Two arrests were made -- on December 5, 2017, the police arrested Billy R Turner, Shelby County landscaper and church deacon at Mt Olive No 1 Missionary Baptist Church in Collierville, and later on December 15, 2017, Wright's ex-wife, Sherra Wright-Robinson, was arrested in California. Turner and Sheera attended the same church.

Wright's mother Deborah Marion believed that her former daughter-in-law committed the crime in order to claim $1 million life insurance policy taken out in Lorenzen Wright's name. Sheera Wright pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. However, as reported by The Guardian, Wright's defense attorney Juni Ganguli stated that the crime was motivated by the fact that Wright had been physically abusing her for years. “The beatings were consistent, and it led to her face being disfigured,” Ganguli explained. “She feared that Mr Wright would never leave her alone, and she recruited Billy Turner to kill Mr Wright.” he added. 

'Infamy: When Fame Turns Deadly' premieres on Monday, June 7, 2021, at 10 pm ET/PT.

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