MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sherra Wright has a new defense team. Her high-profile team of Blake Ballin and Steve Farese asked to be removed from her case on Wednesday.
Before appointing her a new attorney, the judge emphasized what Wright was losing.
“You have two excellent lawyers,” said Judge Lee Coffee.
“I do,” replied Wright.
“I'm going to appoint another very good attorney for you,” said Coffee.
Wright’s new court-appointed attorney is Juni Ganguli. He is based in Memphis and told FOX13 he has represented roughly 100 clients charged with murder, some even facing the death penalty.
Wright said she wanted to talk with her family about potential representation, but said she has not had the opportunity lately because “of this shirt that I have been placed in.”
She was referencing the red jumpsuit, instead of orange, which the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said is a sign of discipline for misbehavior.
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A spokesperson with SCSO said it “means she has lost privileges.” The sheriff’s office would not elaborate on specific punishment or how long she has been in that jumpsuit.
When Ganguli woke up Wednesday, he had no idea he would end it as Wright’s new lawyer.
He said he got the call about possible representation roughly 30 minutes before Wright was due in court.
It all happened because the team of Ballin and Farese asked to be removed from the case, citing a deteriorated relationship with Wright.
“The relationship between us and the client had deteriorated to the point where we couldn't effectively represent her,” Farese said. “We owed an ethical duty to her to file a motion to withdraw and that's the only statement we can make.”
“Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't,” Ballin said. “It's unfortunate this one didn't work out and we wish Ms Wright the best of luck.”
Wright’s new defense team is confident they do not need luck.
“I’m excited. I think we can do well,” said Ganguli.
Ganguli said he only spoke with Wright briefly after the court appearance, but already he is implying their defense strategy will hinge on Jimmie Martin, Wright’s cousin who flipped.
“Well, do you know that the cooperating individual was out on bond and has been convicted of second-degree murder?” said Ganguli.
Wright and Billy Ray Turner will be back in court on August 22 for a report date.
Judge Coffee told both defendants he hopes to have their murder trial complete by the end of 2019.
Right now, both Turner and Wright are scheduled to face trial together, barring a motion to sever.