July 26 (UPI) –The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright pleaded guilty Thursday to planning his 2010 murder and faces up to 30 years in prison.
Lorenzen Wright was shot multiple times in the swampy outskirts of Memphis in July 2010. His body was found 10 days after he was reported missing. Wright played 13 seasons as a forward and center for multiple teams in the NBA, including the Memphis Grizzlies.
Sherra Wright pleaded guilty in a Memphis court to facilitation to first-degree murder and facilitation to attempted murder. After she pleaded guilty, the first-degree murder charge against her was dismissed. That would have meant up to 60 years in prison.
As part of the plea deal, she will be eligible for parole in eight years.
“This is obviously a violent offense, an offense that has torn apart a family, an offense that’s been highlighted throughout Memphis and the media and everything else,” prosecutor Paul Hagerman said.
Co-defendant Billy Turner still faces first-degree murder charges and has already pleaded guilty to a gun charge. Witnesses said Sherra Wright planned to have two men kill Lorenzen Wright at his home in Atlanta but that attempt failed.
Authorities said they then planned to kill him in Memphis and dumped one of the guns in a Mississippi lake. It was later found.
Defense attorney Juni Ganguli said Sherra Wright was a victim of domestic violence from her ex-husband and she was tired of it.
“The beatings were consistent, and it led to her face being disfigured,” Ganguli said. “She feared Mr. Wright would never leave her alone, and she recruited Billy Turner to kill Mr. Wright.”
Sherra Wright also got $1 million from her ex-husband’s life insurance policy. In 2014, she settled a court dispute over how the insurance money would be spent on her six children.
Lorenzen Wright’s mother Deborah Marion spoke directly to Sherra Wright in court, thanking her for raising her six grandchildren. The children will now live with her in Tennessee.
“We still love them. That is all I want is my grandkids. That’s it. I just hate what happened to my child. But he has some nice looking kids for his grandma. They want to see me, I want to see them,” Marion told Wright.
Marion said she will fight Wright’s parole at future hearings.
“My son is serving life,” Marion said outside the courtroom.