Lorenzen Wright’s ex-wife pleads guilty to role in his murder: Part 9

Sherra Wright Robinson pleaded to lesser charges of facilitation of first-degree murder and facilitation of attempted first-degree murder. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
6:57 | 09/19/20

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Transcript for Lorenzen Wright’s ex-wife pleads guilty to role in his murder: Part 9
A significant development in the Lorenzen Wright murder case. A gun found over the summer may have been the one used in the crime. Sherra Wright Robinson was taken into custody. Well, you know, the buildup was huge. We were expecting, like, probably a weeks to months long trial. The judge is expected to rule this spring on a host of pretrial motions from sherra Wright's and Billy turners' legal teams. They were going to be tried together as co-defendants. That was my understanding. If sherra and Billy turner were tried together, our defense could be consistent. I think that the evidence in case that the state has, we're anxious to get in front of 12 jurors and see what they think. Any time you have multiple suspects, people are going to start throwing each other under and inevitably, it basically boils down to who can cut the deal first. In the several months that Billy ray turner and sherra Wright appear together as defendants, there was always a lingering question -- which of them could potentially plea first? I thought Billy was going to use his head. I thought he was going to plea It became evident to june and me that the state wanted to work out a deal with Billy turner. A surprise twist tonight in the Lorenzen Wright murder case. Sherra's lawyers say they realized that troubling sign in June of 2019 when Billy ray was in court for another matter. He has never said that he had a firearm related to killing anyone at all. Billy ray is between a rock and a hard place. He's got a gun charge unrelated to the Wright murder and faces up to 20 years behind bars if he's found guilty. He decides he's got only one choice. Plead guilty to the gun charge. Now, is that what you want to do, sir? Yes, sir. Has anyone threatened you, promised you anything, put any force, any pressure on you in order to get you to give up these rights and plead guilty, sir? No. Billy's convicted felon of possession of a handgun trial was scheduled in June of 2019, but on trial date he plead open to the court. Your plea of guilty to indictment 1801702, a class "D" felony of a then convicted felon in possession of a firearm, it is the judgement of this court, Mr. Turner, that you are guilty. He plead open to the court. He doesn't know definitively what sentence he's going to get. Sherra's lawyers are seeing this play out and they're really worried about it. Here's why -- it's possible the judge call take pity on Billy ray and reduce his sentence if he cooperates with authorities and testifies against sherra Wright. His potential time was completely left up to the judge. Thank you, sir. You can step down from the witness stand, Mr. Turner. That was highlynusual and, to us, indicated that he would be cooperating. Sherra's lawyers are not taking any chances. Her lawyers go to visit her in jail, and what they tell her would shock everyone. They say she needs to consider a plea deal. We told her, if Billy testifies against you, it's going to be disastrous. Sherra Wright to the courtroom, please. One morning out of the blue, we get a frantic phone call into our newsroom, a tip from the courthouse -- sherra Wright plans to plead guilty. In a stunning twist, an unscheduled appearance this morning, sherra Wright agreed to a plea deal in the murder case of her ex-husband, Memphis basketball star Lorenzen Wright. She realized that, I'm not willing to roll the dice. I'm not willing to take a gamble on this. And she cut the deal. No one had any foresight or knowledge that they were going to do that. Raise your right hand, please, ma'am. Do you solemnly swear or affirm -- Everybody was sitting on the edge of their chairs. The whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? Yes. They wanted to see what, exactly -- what was sherra's We know sherra Wright is there to plead guilty, but we don't know entirely what she's pleading guilty to. Ms. Wright, the agreement that you have is to say that you plead guilty to the included charge in count one to facilitation of first-degree murder. In the deal, the 48-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts -- facilitation of first-degree murder and facilitation of attempted first-degree murder. Facilitating. Yes, sir. Facilitating a murder. I never heard of that charge. In the plea deal, sherra Wright pleads guilty to the lesser crimes of plotting the murder, but not the actually first-degree murder charge. You're asking this court to find you guilty without a trial and accept this punishment which has been recommended on your now, is that what you want to do, Ms. Wright? That is correct. She admitted that she facilitated Lorenzen's murder. But she doesn't name accomplices. When you heard that sherra was entering a plea, what did you think? She's trying to outsmart them. I think she just decided to bite the bullet, so to speak, on the murder, and to figure a way to get the less amount of time that she could. Prosecutors would not comment to "20/20" on the case. She knows she was fitting to go down, down, down. Way down. She wasn't gonna get no few she was gonna get some lifetime. Ms. Wright, it is the judgement of this court that you are guilty. This court sets your punishment at 30 years confinement in the Tennessee department of corrections. She received a 30-year sentence, of which she'll serve 30% before release eligibility. I think our prosecutors failed us, those of us that loved him. I think she played them. My reaction was I was sick in the stomach. I'm like, are you kidding me? She may only do nine years? Lorenzen, he lost the rest of his life, and she may only have to do nine years? I felt really bad, felt really I said, that's not fair. It's not about fairness. Ms. Wright, you may now step down from the witness stand. I wish you good luck now. Thank you. Thank you, ma'am. I think it's a concept the public wants to believe in. When the state and the defense comes to a negotiated plea agreement, then generally speaking, the court will approve it. If the sentence surprised a lot of people in court, though, what came next was even more shocking. Ms. Marion, when you were first in court, you had some things that you wanted to say. Yes. A mother is about to confront the woman who arranged her son's murder. After all these years, what will Deborah have to say?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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