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Trial date set in killing of former Clippers player Lorenzen Wright

Trial date set in killing of former Clippers player Lorenzen Wright
Clippers center Lorenzen Wright grabs a rebound away from Sacramento forward Chris Webber during a game in 1999. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

More than eight years after the bullet-riddled remains of former Clippers player Lorenzen Wright were found in Memphis, Tenn., a trial date has been set for his ex-wife and another man charged with the killing.

During a hearing Thursday, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Lee Coffee ordered the trial of Sherra Wright and Billy Ray Turner to start on Sept. 16, 2019.

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“Unless there is some unavoidable act of God that makes it impossible to try this case, this case will be tried on that date,” Coffee told the defendants.

Prosecutors charged Wright and Turner in December with shooting Lorenzen Wright to death in a field to collect on a $1-million life insurance policy. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Sherra Wright, who lived in Murrieta at the time of her arrest, is jailed in lieu of $20-million bail. Turner, also facing charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, is being held in lieu of $15-million bail.

“It’s all like a terrible dream, all of it,” she wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles Times earlier this year. “From his murder to my arrest, unreal. But, I have grown as a woman of God that is putting my hope in the Lord. I believe, with the help of the nation, I will make bond.”

Coffee said during a hearing last month that a mental evaluation found Wright was sane at the time of her ex-husband’s death and she is able to understand the legal proceedings.

The mental evaluation followed a series of jailhouse incidents involving Wright after her arrest. In one of the incidents noted by Coffee, Wright stuffed items into a toilet to flood a cell, stripped naked and told guards she was “going swimming, y’all.”

When Coffee asked Thursday if Wright had any questions, she responded, “No, sir.”

The judge also addressed Lorenzen Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion, as the hearing concluded.

“I know you’ve been waiting a long time for closure on this case,” Coffee said. “This case will be tried ….”

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