Lorenzen Wright, born November 4, 1975, and murdered July 19, 2010, was an American professional basketball star whose murder case made headlines in the city of Memphis. He was a promising basketball player whose dream of rising to the top was cut short by a murder conspiracy between his wife and her friend, Billy Ray Turner. His career as a basketball player began when he got listed as the overall number seven by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2006 N.B.A. draft. He played for over four teams and made significant contributions to each team before he was unfortunately announced missing and later found dead a few days later.
Lorenzen Vern-Gagne Wright
November 4, 1975
July 19, 2010 (age 34)
Lorenzen Vern-Gagne Wright, commonly known as Lorenzen Wright, was an American professional basketball player whose name made several headlines in Memphis, not only for his achievements as a basketball star but also for his mysterious disappearance and subsequent murder, which resulted from a conspiracy between his wife, Sherra Wright, and her friend, Billy Ray Turner, a landscaper and church deacon, and her cousin, Jimmie Martin.
Wright was born in Oxford, Mississippi. While in Lafayette High School, he played basketball for the school’s team before moving to Memphis. He and his ex-wife had six children, including Lawson, Sofia, the twins — Shamar and Lamar — Lorenzen Wright Jr, and Sierra, who died in infancy. Wright began his real professional career in 1996 when he was drafted seventh overall in the N.B.A. draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. After playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, he went on to play for the Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and his final club Cleveland Cavaliers, where his career was brought to a stop by his unfortunate disappearance. He was announced missing on July 18, 2010, and found dead in an abandoned field 10 days later. His murder case went on for seven years, commanding the public’s consistent attention. In 2011, a $21,000 reward was instituted for any information that would lead to the murderer(s).
In December 2017, Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra, and Turner, her friend, were arrested and charged with murder after the gun used in shooting him was found. In 2019, Sherra pleaded guilty to facilitating the first-degree murder of her late husband and received a 30-year sentence. Additionally, in 2022, Turner, who carried out the murder, was charged with three different categories of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, bringing the ‘Lorenzen Wright Murder Case’ to an end.
Wright is drafted number seven by the Los Angeles Clippers.
He establishes the Sierra Simone Wright Scholarship Fund to commemorate his daughter who died in infancy.
He moves from Atlanta to Sacramento through a multiplayer trade.
His wife, Sherra, pleads guilty to murder charges against her and is sentenced.
Turner receives a life sentence in prison for first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and attempted first-degree murder.
Why We Love Lorenzen Wright
He was loved by the public
Wright had a special spot in the heart of the masses which led to a donation of funds by many to source information on his whereabouts and murderers. It is partly because he was so well-loved that his killers were brought to justice.
He had a kind personality
Before his murder, he and Sherra had divorced, but Wright never cared less for his six children. Part of what led to his murder was him going to check on his children at Sherra's house.
He was charitable
His Sierra Simone Wright Scholarship Fund shows just how charitable he was. The scholarship fund has helped several individuals and we love him for giving back to the public.
5 Surprising Facts
He had once escaped a murder attempt
Wright had escaped an earlier murder attempt when two armed men broke into his apartment in Atlanta but he was nowhere to be found.
Turner and Sherra’s secret relationship
Turner was motivated to kill the famous basketball player because of the romantic relationship he shared with Lorezen's wife and the financial benefit he stood to gain.
Memphis’ most publicized murder cases
Because of the extensive news coverage of his disappearance and his fame as a basketball player, Wright's murder case is one of the most publicized murder cases in the history of Memphis.
Five years younger than his ex-wife
The couple had met when Lorenzen was 16 and Sherra was 21.
He was shot 11 times
Wright was shot 11 times by Turner in the presence of his ex-wife.
Lorenzen Wright FAQs
What happened to Lorenzen Wright?
Lorenzen Wright was murdered by his ex-wife’s secret lover and friend, Billy Turner, after going missing for 10 days.
What happened to Billy Ray Turner?
Billy Ray Turner was the main culprit in the murder of Lorenzen Wright. He was subsequently arrested by the authorities for first-degree murder and sentenced to life.
How old is Lorenzen Wright?
Lorenzen Wright was born in 1975 and was murdered in 2010, at 34.
Lorenzen Wright’s birthday dates