Guilty verdict for man accused in double murder

Albert Turner is on trial for capital murder, accused of killing his wife and mother-in-law
May 31, 2011 3:19:41 PM PDT
Jurors have reached a guilty verdict in the capital murder trial of a former prison guard accused of killing his wife and mother-in-law. The double murder case of Albert Turner captured national attention after Keitha Turner and her mother, Betty Jo Frank, were found murdered. Turner was featured on 'America's Most Wanted.' Last week, he finally went on trial and today there was a verdict.

The jury unanimously found Albert Turner guilty of capital murder. They deliberated less than three hours before returning the verdict.

Turner was already shaking his head in disagreement before the verdict was read. He pleaded not guilty, but the jury found him guilty of the December 2009 murders of his wife and mother-in-law.

Prosecutors say Turner slashed the throats of Keitha Frank Turner and Betty Jo Frank. At least two of his four children witnessed some of the brutality.

Turner's oldest daughter called 911. An audiotape of the call was played in court.

    Daughter: My Grandma is dead!
    911 Operator: Your Grandma?
    Daughter: Yes!
    Operator : What happened to her?
    Daughter: He killed her!
    Operator : Who did that?
    Daughter: My Dad!
    Daughter : Tell mom to breathe. Mommy keep breathing!

Turner, a former Texas prison guard, then fled, only to be found two and a half months later in North Carolina after a viewer of 'Live with Regis and Kelly' called in a tip.

Investigators say Turner's wife had left him because he'd been abusive to she and their children. Turner claims his children misidentified him. He insisted in testimony that someone else killed the women.

His attorney says this was a crime of passion compounded by Turner's ongoing struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the Gulf War.

"Our client is someone who at this point is so paranoid, frankly, that he's delusional," said defense attorney Pat McCann.

Turner's attorney says the defendant did not cooperate with court-ordered psychological testing. Prosecutors say there was no evidence verified for trial that he had any bona fide mental health issues.

The punishment phase of the trial is now underway. Turner could now be sentenced to death or life in prison.


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