The Eerie 911 Call Made The Night Of Basketball Player Lorenzen Wright's Disappearance

"I'm going to make sure she serves those 30 years. Until she comes with her real truth and as long as the blood stays warm in my body, I will be there every time," Deborah Marion, mother of deceased NBA star Lorenzen Wright, once vowed (via A&E True Crime). When she reported her son missing in July 2010, the last thing she wanted to imagine was that one day, she'd be attending the parole hearings of his killer to make sure the full extent of their sentence was carried out, or that the culprit would actually turn out to be the woman he was married to. It's a story of tragedy, betrayal, scandal, and collusion that sadly ended in the death of a promising young basketball star.

According to the New York Daily News, Lorenzen's ex-wife, Sherra Wright Robinson, told police that her former lover had left her home in Collierville, Tennessee, on July 18 with a large parcel filled with drugs and money, and that she'd heard nothing from him since then. However, the court later determined that to be a lie. After a meticulous and painstaking investigation, authorities discovered that Wright was directly instrumental in her ex-husband's demise and commissioned the help of her cousin Jimmie Martin and one Billy Ray Turner, her yardman and lover (per A&E True Crime). 

The 2010 murder of Lorenzen Wright

The New York Daily News reports that six days after being reported missing by his mother, Lorenzen Wright's body was found. He'd been left in a wooded area in Southeast Memphis with five bullet holes in his body (two in his head, two in his chest, and one in his arm, per A&E True Crime), and the killer was nowhere to be found. According to police, Sherra Wright Robinson became a prime suspect immediately, though sufficient evidence to warrant an arrest had yet to be produced. "She was the only one who benefited from him being dead," Deborah Marion told A&E True Crime in October 2022. "She knew he was really done with her and was moving on with his life. She couldn't stand it." Apparently, Robinson received a large injection of insurance money following her ex-husband's death (around $1 million dollars). 

It wasn't until December 2017 that Robinson was finally arrested for her suspected involvement in Wright's murder. Billy Ray Turner was also taken into custody, and Jimmie Martin was already in prison for a different crime. Just a month prior, in November of that year, the gun that had been used to kill the former NBA star was found at the bottom of a lake in Walnut, Mississippi, and was linked to Turner, who — it was later discovered — carried out the murder alongside Sherra Wright Robinson (via A&E True Crime).  

Trial and convictions

Following the arrests, trial proceedings commenced, and Billy Ray Turner found himself face-to-face with a first-degree murder charge. He was tried and convicted in July 2022 and is currently serving a life sentence for his role in the killing of Lorenzen Wright, as A&E True Crime reports. Jimmie Martin became something of a detached auxiliary to the case and, having been convicted of second-degree murder for a separate crime in 2012, provided police with numerous tips about the killing from behind bars. Ultimately, Martin's assistance led investigators to the location of the murder weapon in Mississippi, 

According to TMZ Sports, Sherra Wright Robinson pled guilty to the charges leveled against her in 2019 (facilitation to commit attempted first-degree murder) and, to the shock and dismay of many, received only 30 years in prison. She told the court that she and Turner lured Wright into the wooded area where his body was found and killed him on the spot. They later returned to clear the scene of any bullet casings. However, according to Commercial Appeal, Sherra insisted that she "absolutely" did not kill her ex-husband in a 2021 interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters. 

The ominous 911 call

One seemingly minute detail about the night Lorenzen Wright was killed seems to get lost in the abundance of other things that have been exhumed about the case since then. According to A&E True Crime, a 911 operator received a distress call from a phone that was later determined to be Wright's, though there was no voice on the other end of the line — only dead silence.

Then, a muffled and frantic exclamation was heard by the dispatcher who, over and over again, kept asking if anybody was there. What followed was a slew of gunshots before the line went totally dead. To this day, nobody knows exactly what was happening on the other end of the call, and the dispatcher sadly didn't have enough information about the location or the identity of the caller to send help in good time. An episode of A&E's "Killer Cases" detailing the murder of Lorenzen Wright was released in October 2022.