Ex-Wife of NBA Star Lorenzen Wright Admits Facilitating His Murder: 'We Lost a Great Guy'
Sherra Wright, 48, will receive a 30-year-prison sentence and will be eligible for parole in nine years
The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, who was fatally shot in 2010, pleaded guilty Thursday in Tennessee to facilitation to first-degree murder.
According to the plea agreement with the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office, Sherra Wright, 48, will receive a 30-year-prison sentence and will be eligible for parole in nine years — after she serves 30 percent of her sentence.
She also pleaded guilty to facilitation to commit attempted first-degree murder, which carries an eight year sentence.
She will be credited with nearly 20 months time served.
According to prosecutors, the charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder was dropped.
After the guilty plea, Lorenzen’s mother, Deborah Marion, said she has thought of her grandchildren during the ordeal, reports the Commercial Appeal of Memphis.
“As long as I could think of them, I could stay positive,” Marion said. “I’m so glad this is over so my grand-kids can heal and rest and come see their grandmama.”
Judge Lee Coffee said he hoped the plea, “brings you some closure,” the Commercial Appeal reports.
Victim’s Friend: Plea Deal Is ‘Travesty of Justice’
But not everybody is happy about the plea agreement.
Lorenzen’s friend Pastor Bill Adkins tells PEOPLE, “We are not happy. Everyone I have talked to is very disappointed she is going to get off this easy. If it is true she can get out in eight or nine years that would be a travesty of justice to me. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.”
“He was one of the greatest human beings I have ever known,” Adkins adds. “He was the guy who would give you the shirt off his back. That is just a fact. We lost a great guy — the kind of guy anybody would be glad to call a friend. Anyone who had known him knows we lost somebody special.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Wright played for multiple teams during his long NBA career including the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers.
He was last seen on July 18, 2010, leaving the home of his ex-wife. She told police that Lorenzen had stopped by her Collierville home and later left with an unidentified male.
His decomposed body was found 10 days later in a swampy field in south east Memphis. He had been shot multiple times and was 34 when he died.
Police later determined that Lorenzen had called 911 from his cell phone moments before his death but the call was interrupted by gunfire.
According to the Associated Press, witnesses said that Sherra Wright had previously solicited two men to kill Lorenzen at his home in Atlanta, but the plan failed.
Sherra and 48-year-old landscaper Billy Turner were later charged with first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Turner has pleaded not guilty and his trial is scheduled for September 16.
At the time of her arrest, she was living in Murrieta, California, and was extradited to Memphis. She was scheduled to go to trial on September 16.
Sherra’s attorney could not be reached for comment.