(WMC-TV) - A longstanding legal battle over Lorenzen Wright's estate returned to a Shelby County courtroom on Friday.
Wright's ex-wife, Sherra, and his father, Herb, are locked in a legal battle over who should control what is left of the money in which Wright's children are entitled.
NBA great Lorenzen Wright was shot to death July 19, 2010. His phone dialed Germantown Police Department, but his body was not found until July 28. Wright had been shot multiple times.
A legal battle over the money left for Wright's six kids began brewing after it was discovered that in 10 months Sherra had already spent $970,000 of the $1 million she received from his life insurance policy. The court ordered her to use the money to support the children.
Wright's father, Herb, questions whether all of the purchases made with that money were done in the interest of the children.
Technically, Sherra Wright is no longer Sherra Wright. She remarried Thursday and says she took her new husband's last name. Sherra says she delayed her honeymoon to be in court.
"I need some rest, and I need a honeymoon, and I need to be with my kids, that's all," she said.
Herb is asking the court for Sherra to be removed as trustee of the life insurance proceeds trust set up when the Wright's divorced about five months before Lorenzen's murder.
Both say their legal battle is not about the money but about doing what is best for Lorenzen's six children, five of whom are still minors.
"My whole life has been on hold, pretty much. It's difficult for the kids, and it's difficult for me, but I believe that I deserve to be happy, and we're taking some steps this year to do that," said Sherra.
The judge appointed a guardian ad litem. His name is Darryl Grisham, and he is a Memphis attorney. His job is to be a voice for Lorenzen Wright's children in what has become a messy legal battle.
"I guess when the scent of money stops being strong then the fuss will die down," said Sherra's attorney Chris Donovan. "Herb Wright tried to get a million dollars a couple years ago. He didn't get it then. He's back for a second bite."
Herb's attorney is Ruby Wharton.
"When, why, and how much?" said Wharton regarding the only $116,858.57 remaining from the insurance policy. "It's not been managed well. That's the only way you can put it. The funds have not been managed well ... Prudence demands that you spend the money in accordance what's in the best interest of the children, not how you feel today or what you want or your past style of life. It's prudent in the long haul for the children."
Donovan argues the money has been well managed. The proof, he says, is in the proceeding itself.
"He alleges that my client spent all the money and the real fact is that a million dollars is owned by the trust in real property. It's changed forms, that's all. So this is a while lot of mess about nothing," said Donovan."Here's the fact. We're not here because there's nothing to get to. We're not here because you spent all the money. We're only here because there's a lot of money still at issue."