MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The mother of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright stood up Thursday during a court hearing for a man charged with killing him and shouted, “How could you have murdered my son?”
Wearing a red sweater with a drawing of her son’s face on it, Deborah Marion made the outburst during an arraignment for Billy R. Turner in a Memphis courtroom. Judge Lee Coffee told her he would not allow another such interruption, but he did not charge her with contempt of court.
Turner was indicted Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge. His bail is set at $1 million. Turner told the judge that he was planning to hire an attorney and Coffee set a hearing for Tuesday.
Wright’s body was found in a swampy field in suburban Memphis on July 28, 2010, 10 days after the 34-year-old was reported missing. He was shot multiple times. The seven-year investigation into his death has been one of the Memphis Police Department’s most high-profile unsolved cases.
Prosecutors and police have declined to say much about the case. Police said last month that they had found a gun used in the killing in a lake near the small town of Walnut, Mississippi, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Memphis.
After Marion’s statement, Turner was led out of the courtroom in the custody of court officers. The judge called Marion to a microphone in the courtroom and told her he understands her pain because his father was killed. But Coffee also said that he would not allow anyone to “engage in an outburst like that.”
“You have to be respectful of the judicial system,” Coffee said.
Marion replied, “I told him what I wanted to tell him.”
Outside the courtroom, prosecutor Paul Hagerman said he spoke with Marion about the incident.
“Ms. Deborah is going to behave herself next time,” Hagerman said.
Wright, who was born and raised in Memphis, played for the Memphis Grizzlies and four other NBA teams as a forward and center over 13 seasons before retiring in 2009.
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(Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP & AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)