Neighbor Says, Ex-Wife of Lorenzen Wright ‘Needed Money’

August 9, 2010  |  

By Mitch Abramson of New York Daily News

It was a common site in this posh enclave: Sherra Wright, walking down Whisperwood Drive, shouting into her cell phone and making demands for money.

“It was really bizarre,” Patricia Coleman told the Daily News Thursday night. Coleman’s home abuts Wright’s house in this quiet suburb of Shelby County, 20 miles east of Memphis.

“She wouldn’t talk in the house,” Coleman said. “She would walk up and down the street and scream and holler. Neighbors would call and ask what’s going on? She was always saying she needed money. That’s one of the reasons we’re concerned today.”

Wright is the ex-wife of former NBA basketball player Lorenzen Wright, whose slain body was found in a deserted area of southeast Memphis on July 28. While Memphis police are in the midst of a homicide investigation, Sherra Wright, who moved to the neighborhood in November and is described by neighbors as distant and aloof, has emerged as a person of interest in the police investigation as well as a lightning rod for speculation among Memphis residents. The Wrights divorced in February.

On Thursday, men in work clothes and women in high heels could be seen walking up a muddy hill to the spot where Lorenzen Wright’s body was found on July 19, riddled with bullets in a brush maybe 100 yards from a narrow, unlit road. A makeshift grave with a marker and the stench of burned remains is all that is left of the crime scene. Stuffed animals and signs of affection for Wright were left at the entrance to the field where his body was found.

Homicide detectives searched Sherra Wright’s home on Sunday, focusing on a fire pit in her backyard that was raging on July 19, the night Lorenzen Wright disappeared. Coleman remembers seeing Sherra Wright in the backyard by the fire. “She was back there with another man,” Coleman said. “I thought it was strange because it was like one of the hottest days of the year.”

After the detectives left Sherra Wright’s house, Coleman said Sherra “or someone who looked like Sherra” returned to the home, venturing to the back patio for a couple of minutes. Sherra Wright has not publicly spoken about Lorenzen Wright’s death, and no one answered the door to her home on Thursday night.

Gail Mathes, an attorney for Sherra Wright, told the Daily News that her client couldn’t be a suspect in the murder because “she didn’t have any motive to kill because he had no money.”

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