Billy Ray Turner won't consider first-degree murder guilty plea, attorney says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sherra Wright’s criminal case is officially over, and she’s been transferred into the state’s custody.

Now, her co-defendant Billy Ray Turner is preparing for trial this fall.

RELATED: What is next for Billy Ray Turner: Man charged in Lorenzen Wright murder case

Back in December 2017, Turner was arrested a week-and-a-half before Wright for the murder of the NBA star Lorenzen Wright.

Attorney John Perry said he talked with Turner for hours on Friday, just one day after Sherra took a plea deal.

“You know, his spirits are high just like mine were as it relates to the fact that now he’s not being tried along with a person who might have some incentive,” he said.

Turner and Sherra Wright were both indicted for first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in 2017.

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FOX13 asked Perry if they were considering a plea deal of their own.

“As far as anything to do with the planning, commissioning and carrying out any sort of homicide, my client will absolutely not entertain any sort of offer to do with that at this point. He has absolutely maintained his innocence from day one,” said Perry.

Perry said Wright’s decision to take a plea deal works in their favor as they prepare for trial.

“If I had my preference based on the facts in this case and my review of the evidence I’ve looked at – the volume of calls that were recorded, the text messages, things along those lines – and it’s highly favorable,” he said.

Perry said Turner has maintained his innocence since he was arrested.

“There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that shows my client receiving anything of value or any sort of direct communication to my client to do anything to commit harm to Lorenzen Wright,” said Perry.

But prosecutors said Turner, Sherra Wright and Wright’s cousin Jimmie Martin all planned the murder.

Wright’s plea deal does not say if she will have to testify against Turner, and prosecutor Paul Hagerman didn’t comment on the matter either.

FOX13 asked Perry if he’s concerned about Wright testifying against his client.

“Concerned in a good way. As I stated, for different reasons to say that her stories that have anything do to with this have been less than consistent is probably an understatement,” said Perry.

Perry said he’s prepared if Martin takes the stand. Wright’s cousin wasn’t charged in this case, but currently he’s serving time prison for the murder of his girlfriend in 2012.

Before the murder trial in September, Perry said they have to finish sentencing for Turner’s separate gun charge.