Official: Lorenzen Wright slaying probe hurt by ‘conspiracy of silence'

A "conspiracy of silence" surrounds the killing of former Atlanta Hawks player Lorenzen Wright, a Memphis Crime Stoppers leader told the Commercial Appeal newspaper.

Buddy Chapman, executive director of the organization, added that "a number of people know exactly what happened."

Wright, 34, was found shot to death July 28 in a field in southeast Memphis. The case remains unsolved.

Chapman made his comments after a plea from Wright's mother, Deborah Marion. She wants to raise $100,000 to convince reluctant witnesses to come forward, and she's asking the public for donations, according to the Commercial Appeal. The current Crime Stoppers reward is $1,000.

"I am totally frustrated nothing is happening," Marion told the paper. "You know, the police are working as hard as they can, but they're not getting anywhere."

She urged anyone with information to think of Wright's six children.

"Think of a 4-year-old child without a father who doesn't understand why she'll never see her father again," she told the paper. "Her father will never walk her down the aisle. He will never be at her graduation."

Chapman told the paper that a reward of "$10,000, $50,000 or $100,000 will loosen a lot of lips."

Wright's ex-wife, Sherra Robinson Wright, has told police he talked to someone on the phone the night of July 18, then left her suburban Memphis home with a box of drugs and an unknown amount of cash.

She heard him say he was going to "flip something for $110,000," a court affidavit states.

According to the Commercial Appeal, as many as a dozen gunshots can be heard on the 911 call made from a cell phone in Wright's possession.

Police are interviewing people in cities beyond Memphis, the Memphis police director told the paper.

Wright's 13-year career included a pair of two-year stints with the Hawks, and he had a home in metro Atlanta.

A 6-11 power forward, Wright also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings. His last season was 2008-09, when he appeared in 17 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers.