He also claims that he went with Turner to the Mississippi lake to throw away that gun.Prosecutor Paul Hagerman: Martin stated he accompanied Billy Turner to a lake, where Billy Turner disposed of a handgun that was used to murder Lorenzen Wright.PIC OF LORENZENMost troubling for Lorenzen's family was that he seemed to have disappeared without a trace.911 CALL: Oh, Goddamn [BANG, BANG].911 OPERATOR: Germantown 911, where's your emergency? that they were going to Lorenzen Wright's house in Atlanta, Georgia, to murder. Prosecutor Paul Hagerman: Or to lure him to Memphis, Tennessee, and murder him there.
Prosecutors allege that Sherra and Turner had a sexual relationship and that they killed Lorenzen Wright for his million-dollar insurance policy.As Sherra left the courtroom, she and Turner exchanged a passing glance.Phil Dotson: His daughter Sierra passed away of sudden infant death syndrome.She was probably around 11 months old at the time of her passing, which was very hard on him.Who wanted Wright dead, and how does a beloved basketball player's life end that way? But in a city divided, both racially and economically, there something that brings people together. Bill Adkins: Basketball in Memphis became -- a instrument of change … …You know, Memphis basketball was literally everything. Once celebrated as one of Memphis' favorite sons, the memory of Lorenzen Wright still haunts this town. Marc Perrusquia: We talk about big murders in the history of Memphis. Born in Oxford, Mississippi, Lorenzen Wright moved to Memphis to play basketball at Booker T. Being 6' 11" tall at 17 years old, he turned a lot of heads. Bill Adkins: I decided to go take a look for myself. …I mean, he could run the floor better than any big man I ever saw in my life. Life in the NBA can be hard on a family -- working on the road, in cities far from home for months at a time, can stress even the best of marriages. Bill Adkins: The arguments primarily were about two things: infidelity and finances.
Perched on the banks of the Mississippi River, Memphis, Tennessee, has always been a city of contrasts: famous for its place in music history and infamous for its place in the American civil rights movement. Bill Adkins: Memphis is a city that, unfortunately, has been divided by race for many, many years. James Brown | CBS News special correspondent: Put in perspective how big the Lorenzen Wright story is here in Memphis. You got Martin Luther King, OK, you can't trump that one, but he comes very close. Lorenzen went on to dazzle fans at the University of Memphis, but not for long. Phil Dotson: Being married, and having kids at such an early age …
Pastor Bill Adkins has been a long-time advocate for unity in the City of Memphis. Bill Adkins | Lorenzen's mentor: It's a lot better than it used to be. In 1996, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers. Bill Adkins: When he stepped up to that podium -- everybody just cheered. Lorenzen Wright, #42 of the Memphis Grizzlies, shoots a free throw during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Antonio Spurs at the SBC Center on April 17, 2004 in San Antonio, Texas. Always would -- would be one of the first ones to raise their hand when the team would ask for a player to go into a children's hospital, or to go and speak at a school or an event. Gayle Rose: He was one young man who was working to make a difference … Philanthropist Gayle Rose is as dedicated to the city of Memphis as Lorenzen was. Gayle Rose: My relationship was really about our mutual interest in Memphis … It was Rose's son, Max, that brought them together at a summer basketball camp. He married his high school girlfriend, Sherra Robinson, after his second season in the NBA. He was, I think, forced to be an adult really quick. in that world, not really being focused on his relationship and his marriage as probably he should've been. He was back home with his family and with money in his pocket.
I mean, every -- every water hole, ever sports bar in this town had it on the TV screen. Lorenzen Wright spent the next 13 seasons in the NBA, playing for five different teams around the country. Wright was known for his hard work on the court, but it was his work off the court that truly endeared him to his fans at home. Gayle Rose: Lorenzen took a very special liking to Max. Her father was one of Wright's high school coaches. Phil Dotson: He had just signed a six-year, million deal at that point.
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"We literally threw everything we had at this investigation. We really, really wanted to solve this case."As Memphis mourned, months turned into years and the city became obsessed with solving the murder of its favorite son.