Lorenzen Wright’s mother plans to be at parole hearings

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — COVID-19 continued to delay the quest for justice for Deborah Marion.

She is the mother of the slain University of Memphis and retired NBA star, Lorenzen Wright.

The pandemic indefinitely delayed the Oct. 26 murder trial of Billy Ray Turner, the man accused of killing Wright.

The virus cannot stop Marion from planning to stop Lorenzen’s ex-wife from getting parole in seven years.

Last year, Sherra Robinson Wright pleaded guilty to helping in that crime that happened 10 years ago.

PART ONE: COVID-19 puts Lorenzen Wright’s mother’s pursuit of justice on hold

“Pictures, pictures, pictures,” said Deborah Marion as she rifles through boxes filled with photos of her beloved son.

The most precious ones from the early years kept in the china cabinet.

“This is the 42,” Marion said as she held an autographed picture of her son in his college basketball days at the University of Memphis.

Marion wouldn’t let herself become infected with the coronavirus.

She told FOX13 because there is too much to do.

“The way the COVID virus will get me, it will have to literally undress, run and catch me,” Marion said.

RELATED: Sherra Wright pleads guilty for her role in Lorenzen Wright’s murder 1 year ago today

Marion said beyond Turner's trial, which a defense attorney expects not to happen until sometime in early 2021, she has plans for 2026.

That’s the year when her ex-daughter-in-law Sherra Wright will be eligible for parole.

Marion plans to be there with her family, friends and supporters to ask that Wright not get parole on the first attempt.

“We will be there in two buses,” she said. “One from Georgia and one from Tennessee full of people with signs saying, ‘No, no, she can’t go.’ We are going to be protesting like that. No, no. It is not going to be me. It is going to be Memphis, Mississippi, Atlanta and Georgia.”

FOX13 searched the Tennessee Board of Parole website to find out how that process works.

RELATED: Sherra Wright pleads guilty, sentenced 30 years for her role in murder of Lorenzen Wright

The parole board will consider the nature of the offense, criminal history, participation in programs, amount of time served, institutional record and community opposition and support.

FOX13 asked Marion if she expects her ex-daughter-in-law to ever apologize or explain her role in the murder of her son?

“I am waiting on her to woman up,” Marion said.

That may never happen, but Wright getting paroled eventually is not farfetched.

According to the Tennessee Department of Correction, the percentage of female prisoners granted parole has been steadily increasing from 24 percent in 2018 to 31 percent in 2019 and 48.8 percent, so far this year.

“I am going to tell them, y’all know this woman ain’t through,” she said. “She ain’t old enough to be finished. She needs to do her time.”