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Sherra Wright Files $12m Lawsuit Against Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

— April 16, 2021

Wright’s lawsuit comes three years after she attracted regional notoriety for murdering her ex-husband, NBA star Lorenzen Wright.

Sherra Wright has filed a $12 million federal lawsuit against the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in Memphis, Tennessee.

Wright gained regional notoriety after being named as a suspect in the shooting death of her ex-husband, Lorenzen Wright.

Wright was a former professional basketball player. In his decades-long career, he played for a half-dozen teams in the NBA, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Cleveland Cavaliers. He went missing in July of 2010; his body was found days later.

While the case was cold for years, investigators eventually identified Sherra Wright as a suspect.

In 2019, Wright pleaded guilty in her ex-husband’s k and was sentenced to 30 years behind bars.

According to, Wright’s lawsuit focuses on the months she spent in Shelby County East Jail. In her handwritten complaint, Wright claims that she was subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment” between December 2017 and December 2018.

That punishment, Wright charges, deprived of her rights to privacy, decency, and dignity.

In one incident, Wright claims she was forced to mop a floor covered in feces, purportedly excreted by another inmate who had tested positive for HIV/AIDS. On another occasion, Wright says she was strip-searched and locked in a broom closet. Whilst inside the closet, jailers allegedly taunted Wright by telling her that her eldest son had been arrested.

Basketball and Basketball net
Basketball and Basketball net; image courtesy of Free-Photos via Pixabay,

Wright also sought to address negative media coverage.

In 2019, for instance, News 3 and other local channels obtained a 206-page report documenting Wright’s many disciplinary infractions. Before and after taking her plea deal, Wright accrued some 50 infractions in a single year.

On May 29, 2018, Shelby guards noted that Wright “got naked and flooded her cell,” then “pushed” the water in a day room and announced, “I’m going swimming. I’m going swimming, y’all.”

Wright’s lawsuit attempted to explain the flooding incident and includes a statement from another prisoner, who said Wright had a mental breakdown due to mistreatment. Prior to flooding her cell, Wright sought mental health assistance but was yelled at by a guard and told to “die.”

This “cruel” treatment, Wright wrote, has caused her to “[suffer] extreme mental anguish and distress.”

“Currently, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares and depression, anxiety, along with resulting physical distress,” Wright’s lawsuit states.

WREG notes that, as much of Wright’s lawsuit is handwritten, it is unclear whether she has an attorney. Nevertheless, she has asked a federal court to award her attorney fees, compensatory damages of $2 million, and punitive damages of $10 million.


Sherra Wright files $12M lawsuit against Shelby County Jail

Sherra Wright files lawsuit against Shelby County Jail, alleging cruel and unusual punishment

Sherra Wright’s records show more than 50 disciplinary incidents in jail

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