Seven years after the bullet-riddled, decomposing body of her son was found in a Memphis suburb, former National Basketball Association player Lorenzen Wright’s mother continued to hold out hope that someday his murder would be brought to justice.
“Justice is gonna be served soon. I got that feeling,” Debbie Marion said at an observance of what would have been Lorenzen Wright’s 42nd birthday November 4.
A short time after that, Memphis Police found the gun that killed Wright in a Mississippi lake 75 miles east of Memphis in Walnut, Mississippi.
Today, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that a grand jury indicted Billy R. Turner, 46, a Shelby County, Tennessee resident, on a first degree murder charge. Turner is being held on $1 million bond.
A $21,000 reward had been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Wright’s killer, but Memphis authorities did not say whether the reward had anything to do with Turner’s arrest.
A missing persons report on Wright was filed July 22, 2010, four days after he was last seen while visiting his ex-wife at her home in Collinsville, Tennessee.
In a bizarre turn of events, police actually listened to Wright’s murder as it was being committed July 19, 2010. A witness called 911 to report an incident, but while the witness was still on the line, shots rang out. The caller did not give an address and it took another eight days before Wright’s corpse was located.
Wright’s family sued the Germantown, Tennessee Police Department in 2011, claiming that a connection to the internet would have enabled officers to locate the body much sooner, but the internet connection had been disabled because officers were using it for purposes having nothing to do with police work.
Because of that, the lawsuit said, “Exposure to the elements, including substantial rain, extreme heat, indigenous animals and insects had reduced the remains from roughly 215 pounds to 57 pounds.”
Though Wright never made an all-star team during his 13-year NBA career, he was a hometown hero in Memphis, having been a collegiate All-American at the University of Memphis and playing five years for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Wright also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, had two stints with the Atlanta Hawks and ended his playing career with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2008-2009 season.