Louise Vassar, grandmother of slain NBA player Lorenzen Wright, attends arraignment hearing for his ex-wife accused of killing him.
Vassar says she does not want Sherra Wright to get death penalty. “Let her live,” Vassar said.
Yolanda Jones/The Commercial Appeal
Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against Sherra Wright and Billy Ray Turner in the death of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright and attorneys for the two will seek bond during a hearing next month.
During a brief hearing Monday, attorneys for both defendants asked for a bond hearing, which was scheduled for April 12, since the case is no longer considered a capital case. Their next report date regarding the charges is set for April 26.
Monday’s appearance marked the first time the two were in the courtroom at the same time.
“As we discussed last time in chambers, the state would announce today that this would not be a capital case,” said prosecutor Paul Hagerman during the hearing.
Billy Ray Turner and Sherra Wright stood on opposite sides with their attorneys in between them in the courtroom.
Sherra Wright said “yes” when the judge asked if she understood what took place in court Monday.
Turner did not speak during the brief hearing.
Lorenzen Wright’s mother Deborah Marion and other family members attended Monday’s hearing, but left without talking to reporters.
Turner’s family was also in the court room.
Sherra Wright and Billy Ray Turner were charged late last year after authorities recovered a gun believed to be used in the homicide in a Walnut, Mississippi lake, seven years after Wright’s body was found in July 2010. Both defendants pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
They have remained in jail since their arrest and the court will look at a number of factors before deciding if they receive bond, defense attorneys for Wright and Turner said.
“So, the court wants to make a determination as to whether or not these defendants pose a threat to the community and what a reasonable amount of bail would be. In looking at that they will look at their criminal history, their work history, their family, their ties to the community and set an appropriate bond,” said one of Wright’s attorney’s Steve Farese Jr.
John Keith Perry, representing Turner, said he would ask the court during the bond hearing for a “reasonable” bond amount for his client who he said owns a landscaping business with 60-plus clients, is a “man of faith” and not a flight risk.
“He takes every step as a person with faith and he believes he has a God watching out for him,” Perry said. “He prays daily and he thinks at the end of it God will see him through this.”
More: Lorenzen Wright homicide: Sherra Wright pleads not guilty
More: Allegations of an earlier murder plot haunt Lorenzen Wright’s family
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This story will be updated.
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