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Wright murder case delivers new twists and turns

Billy Turner (Screenshot)

Billy Turner’s bond hearing was a jaw dropper on Friday and not because Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee set his bond at $15 million – 100 times more than had been sought by Turner’s attorney.

Turner killed former NBA star Lorenzen Wright in a deadly conspiracy with Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra Wright, prosecutors charged last December. Turner’s bond hearing revealed the identity of a third party that prosecutors had alluded to without revealing a name.

Jimmie Martin. That’s the name; aka Triksta. He’s serving time for the second-degree murder of his girl friend. Now get this: he’s Sherra Wright’s cousin. And there’s more, the bond hearing brought into the mind-boggling picture another person identified as Claudia Robinson.

Jimmie Martin

All of this information would have come out in the bond hearing for Sherra Wright, except it got postponed and reset for May 30.

The bullet-riddled body of Wright, a former University of Memphis star and widely beloved in his hometown, was found on July 28, 2010. It was discovered in a wooded area across the road from the TPC Southwind golf course near Hacks Cross and Winchester. That’s near where Sherra Wright lived on Whispering Woods. Lorenzen had been there within hours of when prosecutors now say he was killed.

According to Assistant District Attorney Paul Hagerman, Martin says he plotted with Wright and Turner to kill Lorenzen Wright in Memphis and that Robinson was present. Martin, who aspired to be a rapper and went by the stage name Triksta, also alleges that Turner and Wright later told him that they had killed Lorenzen Wright, Hagerman said.

Asst. D.A. Paul Hagerman (Screenshot)

All of this was after Turner and Martin earlier had attempted to kill Wright in Atlanta with Sherra Wright’s help, Hagerman said. Information from the affidavit detailed Martin telling investigators that Sherra Wright aided their entry into the Atlanta house but that the plan was cut short because someone else was in the home.

Martin’s attorney, John Perry, said the defense could not possibly argue all of the evidence presented Friday and asked for a $150,000 bond for Turner.

“We’re here today to ask the court for a reasonable bond and there has been no evidence of him trying to leave this jurisdiction at all,” said Perry. “He has tried to lead his life as a responsible citizen other than accusations from this man right here that they call the Triksta.”

Defense attorney John Perry. (Screenshot)

Character witnesses stood up for Turner, extolling what they consider his virtue.

Coffee said he did not want to set a bond for Turner and was only doing so to comply with the law.

Turner has multiple felony convictions. His attorney argued that those convictions were over 25 years old and should not prevent Turner from getting bond.

Hagerman read the affidavit of the Lorenzen Wright murder plot for the record. One section describes Turner, Wright and Martin returning to the crime scene to collect shell casings and the murder weapon that had been left behind.

It was Martin who led investigators to the murder weapon that was found in a lake in Walnut, Miss., according to the affidavit.

(Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)

Lorenzen Wright allegedly was killed for insurance money. The affidavit asserts that Turner and Sherra Wright were involved in an intimate relationship.

Martha Jean Bownes, an Army veteran, who served in Iraq., was Martin’s girlfriend when she was killed on Jan. 13, 2007. After a mistrial on first-degree murder charges in 2009, he was convicted of second-degree murder in a second trial in 2012. In between, Martin was free on bond and Wright was killed in 2010.

A former Navy hospital corpsman from Batesville, Miss., Martin testified that the gun discharged accidentally.

 (This story includes reports from TSD freelancer John Semien and TSD media partner WMC TV.)




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