MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In a major turn of events, Sherra Wright -- who was accused of murdering NBA player Lorenzen Wright -- has pleaded guilty.
Today, Sherra Wright pleaded guilty to Facilitation of Murder in the First Degree.
The judge asked Sherra Wright if she understood if they went to trial she could face life in prison.
"That is why I am here, " Wright said.
She was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She must serve at least 30 percent of the sentence and will get credit for time served, which means she will be eligible for parole by late 2026.
According to state law, facilitation of first-degree murder is a Class A felony under a “range one sentencing guideline. So, after serving 30 percent of the actual sentence the person can become eligible for parole.
The family made it very clear they plan to be at the parole hearings to fight for Sherra Wright to stay in jail for as long as possible.
After Sherra Wright took the stand, Lorenzen Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion, had a moment to speak to the courtroom. Sherra's attornies did not allow her to respond.
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FOX13 spoke with the defense attorney and learned they had planned to use a battered woman defense. They claim Sherra, along with her children, were beaten by Lorenzen Wright.
FOX13 has not learned anything related to her co-defendant Billy Turner, 48. Turner is scheduled to be in court on Friday, according to the District Attorney.
The prosecuting attorney stayed tight-lipped on the upcoming trial, only saying he had to continue to prepare for it.
The trial is still set for September 16.
Attorney Aaron Neglia told FOX13 Sherra’s guilty plea is all that is needed to begin talks of a civil lawsuit.
“The children of Sherra and Lorenzen could file a wrongful death claim against their mother,” said Neglia.
Lorenzen Wright fathered six children, all of whom over the age of 18 except for one.
Neglia said the ones who are adults now have a year to decide to file a wrongful death suit against their mother.
According to Neglia, the youngest child, who is under 18, can also file a wrongful death suit.
"Right now, in the state of Tennessee, it would be the legal guardian of the minor child – which is Sherra Wright's current husband," he said.
However, Lorenzen Wright’s mother – Deborah Marion – does not have it as easy. Neglia explained that there is only one way Marion could get in on the wrongful death case.
She would need legal guardianship over the minor child.
Lorenzen Wright was last seen alive on July 18, 2010 when he left the home of Sherra Wright. The next day, police received a phone call from his cell phone, but it was interrupted by gunfire, according to Shelby County District Attorney's Office.
Wright's body was later discovered on July 28, 2010 in a field near Hacks Cross and Winchester. The 34-year-old was shot multiple times.
Investigators found the alleged murder weapon in a lake near Walnut, Mississippi on November 9, 2017.
Billy Turner was arrested and charged in Wright's murder on Tuesday, December 5.
- Who is Billy Turner? Suspect accused in Lorenzen Wright murder
- The chain of events that led to Billy Turner's arrest
- Detectives seize Turner's old car, believe it was used the night of the murder
Sherra Wright was arrested on December 15 at her home in California. She was extradited back to Memphis and charged in the murder. He is being held on a $15 million bond.
- Sherra Wright in wheelchair during California court appearance
- California neighbors say Sherra Wright was always on her phone
Investigators believe the duo tried to kill Lorenzen multiple times. The details were outlined by police during a news conference in December 2017. Her bond was set at $20 million.
More details regarding the alleged murder plot were revealed during Turner's bond hearing in early May. In a statement read by prosecutors, Sherra's cousin Jimmy Martin provided step-by-step details for how the killing allegedly unfolded.
Cox Media Group