(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Friday’s sports events:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Final Boston 6 St. Louis 5
Final Arizona 7 Minnesota 2
Final Cleveland 2 L.A. Dodgers 1
Final Baltimore 1 Tampa Bay 0
Final Texas 7 Detroit 0
Final N.Y. Yankees 12 Toronto 3
Final Houston 13 Chicago White Sox 3
Final Seattle 8 L.A. Angels 1
Final Kansas City 5 Oakland 1
Final Philadelphia 5 Washington 3
Final Chicago Cubs 1 Atlanta 0
Final Milwaukee 5 Cincinnati 4
Final San Francisco 2 Pittsburgh 0
Final N.Y. Mets 10 Miami 4
Final Philadelphia 8 Washington 7
Final Colorado 10 San Diego 4
WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Final Connecticut 82 Seattle 71
Final Dallas 93 Phoenix 88
Final OT Chicago 106 Atlanta 100
(NEW YORK) — For over a decade, Deborah Marion has been fighting for answers in the murder of her son, former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, who was found shot in 2010.
“With Lorenzen, I’d be talking to his picture and sometimes his picture could look at me a certain way like it’s really him… He was a momma’s boy. Simple as that,” she said. “He would still be a momma’s boy if he was here now.”
At the time of his death, Wright had retired from the league in 2009 where he had earned an estimated $55 million over the course of 13 seasons in the NBA.
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Wright was missing for nine days before his remains were found in a wooded area off a desolate road in southeast Memphis, Tennessee that he used to take as a shortcut to his mother’s house. His body had gunshot wounds.
Marion said she knew something was wrong when Wright didn’t show up to his sister’s baby shower.
“He was supposed to have been coming to the baby shower. I kept calling him all day and he didn’t answer the phone,” said Marion.
At the time, Sherra Wright Robinson claimed to investigators that Wright was connected to drugs. She claimed that she had last seen Wright drive off with an unknown man carrying a box of drugs.
Investigators looked into Wright Robinson’s claims, but Wright was never implicated in any criminal activity. The criminal case turned cold for the next seven years.
Marion remained a driving force behind the investigation and said she would call the police station everyday to ask if they had found any new information.
“I knew God was on my side,” Marion said. “I wasn’t gonna never get tired until I die ’cause somebody had to pay for killing my child.”
Five years after the murder, Wright Robinson published a novel in 2015 titled Mr. Tell Me Anything. The supposedly fictitious story centered around the life of a woman who marries an abusive and unfaithful basketball player. She later claimed in an interview that the book was based on her real life.
Wright’s supporters allege the book is fiction.
“I just don’t believe it. I think that is purely fiction,” said Bill Adkins, a close friend of Wright.
In 2017, a huge break came in the investigation. One of the guns used to kill Wright was found in a lake about 45 minutes away from Wright’s former home.
In court, prosecutors said Wright Robinson’s cousin, Jimmie Martin, started talking to investigators about Wright’s murder while awaiting sentencing in an unrelated murder case that had occurred three years prior to Wright’s death.
Martin had told prosecutors that he had participated in a failed plan to kill Wright with Wright Robinson and another man named Billy Ray Turner, who was a landscaper and attended the same church as Wright Robinson.
According to prosecutors, Martin claimed that after Wright was murdered, Wright Robinson and Turner confessed to him that they did it and needed his help in disposing the evidence, which is how he knew the location of the murder weapon.
Martin has not been charged in connection with Wright’s death.
Investigators began monitoring Wright Robinson’s and Turner’s cell phones and alleged that they had learned incriminating information. Both Wright Robinson and Turner were arrested and charged in December 2017.
Turner pleaded not guilty on first-degree murder charges.
Wright Robinson initially pleaded not guilty but later agreed to a plea deal on July 25, 2019, and pleaded guilty to the facilitation of first-degree murder. In exchange, prosecutors lessened her sentence to 30 years in prison. She will be eligible for parole as early as May 2027.
“She knows she was fittin’ to go down, down, down. Way down. She wasn’t gonna get no few years. She was gonna get some lifetime [if the case went to trial],” said Marion.
Wright Robinson’s plea deal was announced in court and the judge gave Marion the chance to address her son’s ex-wife. Instead of expressing outrage, Marion focused on moving forward with her six grandchildren who are said to be standing by their mother.
“Ms. Sherra, I want to thank you for giving me my grandchildren, that’s what I want to thank you for,” she said in court. “But I want you to call them, [and say], ‘No it’s OK to talk to grandma, grandma still loves you.’ That’s all I want is my grandkids.”
Turner, whose trial was delayed two years, in part because of the global pandemic, finally faced his day in court in March of 2022.
Turner chose not to testify.
After one week of testimony, the jury deliberated for a little over two hours, finding Turner guilty on all three counts: first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Under Tennessee Law, the judge immediately sentenced Turner to life in prison. Marion, who was in the courtroom that day, said that after 12 years, she felt like “she can sleep now. All night now.”
“Lorenzen’s spirit been with me the whole time,” she said. “He can lay down like everybody else and just rest. I say ‘Get you some rest baby. We got this. They gone.’”
(MOSCOW) — A court in Russia has extended the pre-trial detention for WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Griner, who was detained in February, will remain in custody at least through July 2, according to Russian state media outlet TASS.
The 31-year-old was taken into custody at Sheremetyevo International Airport, near Moscow, on Feb. 17 after officials allegedly found vape cartridges with hashish oil in her bag. Hasish oil is illegal to possess in Russia.
Her detention was extended for another 18 days at “the request of the investigation,” according to a representative from the Khimki Court of the Moscow Region, per TASS.
Griner has been detained in a Russian prison for 117 days, more than three months. She was visiting Russia in February to play basketball for the Russian Premier League team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the offseason when she was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow for allegedly having vape cartridges in her luggage that contained hashish oil — an illegal substance in Russia.
She was charged with “large-scale transportation of drugs” and could face up to 10 years in prison, according to The New York Times.
The U.S. government classified Griner’s case on May 3 as “wrongfully detained” in Russia, which means that the U.S. would work to negotiate her release.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, told GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts last month that the support her wife has received from the league has brought the WNBA star “comfort” amid her detention.
The WNBA, which kicked off its 2022 season on May 6, is honoring Griner with a floor decal bearing her initials and jersey number (No. 42) on the sideline of all 12 WNBA courts.
“Things like that matter, like, it has her hopeful,” Cherelle Griner told Roberts. “It lets her know she’s not forgotten.”
“Those small moments, I know, give her some type of hope,” she added.
WNBA star Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention in Russia extended as US works to negotiate her release
The 6-foot-9 center won an NCAA title at Baylor in 2012; a WNBA title with Phoenix, her current team, in 2014; and gold medals with the U.S. women’s team at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began one week after Griner was detained on Feb. 17. Some officials are concerned that Americans jailed in Russia could be used as leverage in the ongoing conflict.
Cherelle Griner said that she would like to speak with President Joe Biden.
“I just keep hearing that, you know, he has the power. She’s a political pawn,” she said. “So if they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it.”
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said last month that a U.S. consular officer was able to meet with Griner on May 19.
Price said the officer “found her continuing to do as well as could be expected under these exceedingly challenging circumstances.”
“But again, our message is a clear and simple one — we continue to insist that Russia allow consistent and timely consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees,” he added. “One-off visits are not sufficient, and we will continue to call on Moscow to uphold its commitments under the Vienna Convention for consistent and timely access, as well.”
WNBA Players Association president says Brittney Griner is detained in Russia ‘because of a gender issue’
The Phoenix Mercury said Monday the team and coaching staff had met with State Department officials and Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., while they were in Washington, D.C.
“We’re here to do whatever we can to amplify and keep BG at the forefront, which is more important than any basketball game and anything else that’s going on in our lives,” Mercury star and longtime teammate Diana Taurasi said in a statement following the meetings. “We want BG to come home as soon as possible, it’s number one on our list.”
Cherelle Griner said she hadn’t spoken to Brittney since just after her arrest since her cellphone was confiscated, but she has corresponded in a few letters.
“Every single day matters for me to be sound, for me to be alert, for me to be attentive, to make sure that she comes back,” she told Good Morning America in late May.
ABC News’ Shannon Crawford, Natalia Shumskaia and Tanya Stukalova contributed to this report.