Number twelve seed Lorenzen Wright was all smiles the day he signed with Memphis State University in the gymnasium of Bootker T. Washington Hight School on November 11, 1993. Steve Jones / File / The Commercial Appeal
November 1, 2001 – Grizzlies center Lorenzen Wright defends against a shot attempt by Detroit’s Dana Barros during the first half of the NBA team’s Memphis debut Thursday night at The Pyramid. The Grizzlies’ defense wasn’t a problem in their regular-season opener, but their offense sure was in what wound up a 90-80 Pistons victory. Jim Weber / File / The Commercial Appeal
At the final resting place of Lorenzen Wright, his aunt Pat Vassar (bottom right) kisses his grave as family members mourn his death while releasing 35 balloons on what would be his 35th birthday. Vassar whose celebrates her birthday one day after Wrights often had joint birthday parties with her nephew. Mark Weber / File / The Commercial Appeal
Marcus Price, of the University of Southern Mississippi, tries to steal the ball from Memphis’ Lorenzen Wright as USM teammate Anthony Richardson looks on during their game at the Pyramid Feb. 20, 1996. Steven G. Smith / File / The Commercial Appeal
August 4, 2010 – Herb Wright (middle) wipes away tears as he mourns the death of son Lorenzen Wright (pictured at left), who was found murdered last week, during a Memorial Service at The FedEx Forum. At right is Herb Wright’s wife, Lisa. Mark Weber / File / The Commercial Appeal
June 26, 2015 – A chest full of family photos many of Lorenzen Wright. Deborah Marion, Lorenzen’s mother, spoke about her son and the events surrounding his death 5 years ago. Stan Carroll / File / The Commercial Appeal
June 26, 2015 – A photo of Lorenzen Wright (center) with Kenny Brown (left) and Marcus Miller from a family album of Deborah Marion, Lorenzen’s mother. (Stan Carroll/The Commercial Appeal) Stan Carroll / File / The Commercial Appeal
November 4, 2012 – Lorenzen Wright’s aunt Pat Vassar (left) cries at his graveside while his mother Deborah Marion (center) talks with other family and cousin Jason Henderson adjusts a photograph of the former Memphis Tiger and NBA player in flowers on the grave. The family gathered to celebrate what would have been Wright’s 37th birthday at Calvary Cemetery with a balloon release. Wright’s murder still remains unsolved. Mike Brown / File / The Commercial Appeal
July 28, 2011 – Slain NBA star Lorenzen Wrights Aunt Pat Vassar (left) cries on the shoulder of his mother Deborah Marion (middle) as his grandmother Louise Vassar (right) holds back tears during a candlelight vigil at the FedExForum Thursday evening. Wrights badly decomposed body was found in a overgrown field off Callis Cutoff Rd one year ago. Mark Weber / File / The Commercial Appeal
July 12, 2011 – Lorenzen Wright Jr. (10), a member of the Youth of Memphis Competitors Association 16-and-under team, listens with teammates to head coach and grandfather Herb Wright (bottom) during a timeout in their first game of the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C. Mark Weber / File / The Commercial Appeal
August 4, 2010- (left to right) Lamar Wright, Sofia Wright, and Lawson Wright, grieve the death of their father, Lorenzen Wright, at a public memorial held at the FedExForum. Nikki Boertman / File / The Commercial Appeal
Memphis Grizzlies Mike Miller, Eddie Jones, Lorenzen Wright, Bobby Jackson, and Pau Gasol watch the final minute of game four of the playoffs Monday May 1, 2006 at FedExForum. Nikki Boertman / File / The Commercial Appeal
Memphis Grizzlies’ Lorenzen Wright (42) struggles for a loose ball with Chicago Bulls’ Tyson Chandler, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 23, 2005, in Memphis, Tenn. JIM WEBER / AP
Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry, right, shoots against pressure from Memphis Grizzlies’ Earl Watson, left, and Lorenzen Wright, during the first quarter Monday, April 11, 2005, in Dallas. DAVID PELLERIN / AP
A Shelby County man has been arrested and charged with murder in the killing of Lorenzen Wright, the basketball standout whose body was found in 2010 and whose slaying has remained a mystery for years, according to a document.
Billy Turner, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder. According to a document, he was indicted Tuesday. The Multi Agency Gang Unit saw him leave a house in the 4700 block of Waterfront Oak Drive, get into a vehicle and travel to the Collierville Express Mart on U.S. 72. He was then arrested.
A man has been arrested and charged with murder in the killing of Lorenzen Wright, here’s what we know Video by Michael Schwab/USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee
He went through personal and financial setbacks, including a divorce and foreclosure of two homes. He finished his NBA career in 2009 and was killed at age 34.
Wright had been living in Atlanta and was visiting the Memphis area when he disappeared in July 2010.
Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra Robinson Wright, had told authorities in 2010 that he left her Collierville home at about 10:30 p.m. July 18 with drugs and an unspecified amount of money, according to a Memphis police affidavit. She told authorities that Wright made a phone call to an unknown person and said he was going to flip something for $110,000. He then left in a vehicle driven by an unidentified person shortly after the call, she said.
Wright appears to have called 911 from his cellphone from a field near the TPC Southwind golf course minutes after midnight on July 19, 2010. His body was found in the area several days later, and authorities have said it was so badly decomposed that it was unclear how many times he was shot.
Shell casings from different caliber weapons were found at the crime scene.
Thousands of people attended Wright’s funeral at FedExForum. Speakers included then-Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.
“He was a young man who never forgot who he was, where he came from, the values that shaped him and the people who encouraged him along the way,” Wharton said at the time. “Lorenzen’s story was one of those special Memphis stories where a man is able to transcend his roots even while he represents those roots proudly.”
By December 2010, hope of a quick resolution to the case had faded. Authorities said that only 22 tips had come in, and Crime Stoppers Executive Director Buddy Chapman said at the time that they weren’t substantive.