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Ex-wife of former Clippers player Lorenzen Wright found competent to stand trial in his killing

Sherra Wright, left, the ex-wife of slain former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, glances at her new cour
Sherra Wright, left, glances at attorney Juni Ganguli, right, after her lawyers Steve Farese and Blake Ballin asked to be withdrawn from representing her in Shelby County Criminal Court in Memphis on July 11.
(Mark Weber / Associated Press)

The ex-wife of former Clippers player Lorenzen Wright is mentally competent to stand trial in connection with his killing, according to an evaluation read in court Friday.

Sherra Wright and Billy Ray Turner were charged in December with shooting Lorenzen Wright to death in a Memphis field in July 2010 to collect on a $1 million life insurance policy. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Shelby County, Tennessee, Judge Lee Coffee ordered Sherra Wright to undergo a mental examination in August. It followed several jailhouse incidents involving Wright, including one where she stripped naked, attempted to stuff items into a toilet to flood the cell and told guards she was “going swimming, y’all.”

Wright, who lived in Murrieta at the time of her arrest, is being held in lieu of $20-million bail.

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On Friday, Coffee said the evaluation by Dr. Wyatt Nichols found Wright to be sane at the time of her ex-husband’s death, she is able to understand the legal proceedings and assist in her defense.

“It wasn’t a surprise,” Wright’s attorney Juni Ganguli said in an email. “The burden for finding someone competent to stand trial is low.”

Ganguli told the court the defense team is still reviewing evidence. The material, which totals about four gigabytes, includes witness statements, wiretap transcripts and other documents.

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The next hearing is scheduled for late November.

nathan.fenno@latimes.com

Twitter: @nathanfenno


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