Deborah Marion, the mother of murdered Memphis-born NBA player Lorenzen Wright, confronted Wright’s alleged killer with one chilling question during his first court appearance on Thursday — “How could you have murdered my son?”
Wright was a University of Memphis basketball standout and a 13-year professional player who played for five NBA teams from 1996 to 2009.
Wright was last heard from during a 911 call to a Germantown, Tennessee dispatcher on July 19, 2010, when he can be heard screaming “God damn” as gunshots rattle off in the background. Ten days after receiving the distress call, police discovered Wright’s severely decomposed, bullet-riddled body in the woods of southeast Memphis alongside shell casings from multiple guns.
Police arrested 46-year-old Billy Turner on Tuesday and charged him with first-degree murder. He is currently being held on $1 million bond.
Turner made his first court appearance in front of Shelby County Judge Lee Coffee on Thursday, when Marion, overcome with emotion, yelled at Turner as he entered the courtroom.
Coffee called Marion to the front of the court room shortly after the outburst and admonished her for the outburst.
“This case is not going to be resolved anytime soon,” Coffee said. I know it’s been seven long years for you. … Please be respectful of the courtroom and be respectful of the administration of justice.”
He continued, “If it happens again I’m going to have to bar you from the court room and I don’t want to do that to you.”
In response, Marion said, “I want to apologize, but if anybody had a son that was murdered they’d feel me.”
Coffee actually shared with Marion that his father had been killed in an effort to show his understanding of her difficult situation.
After the emotional outburst the Wright family left the courthouse without speaking to reporters, ABC affiliate WATN reports.
Billy Turner is expected back in court next week for an arraignment, during which time his family plans to hire a lawyer.