Kelsey Turner Wiki, Biography
Kelsey Turner, a former Playboy model, has accepted a plea deal for the 2019 murder of a California child psychiatrist. Turner, who has been in custody since 2019, was sentenced Tuesday to between 10 and 25 years in prison.
According to Court TV, Turner pleaded guilty to Alford to one count of second-degree murder in the death of Dr. Thomas Burchard in November. A definition from Cornell Law School describes Alford’s guilty plea as:
“(The defendant) records the formal admission of guilt to the charges in criminal court, while simultaneously expressing his innocence to those same charges.” Although the plea bargain allows the former model to avoid trial, she acknowledged in court that prosecutors could prove second-degree murder in the 71-year-old psychiatrist’s death.
Police and prosecutors had previously found intimate and monetary connections between Turner and Dr. Burchard. The latter was found beaten to death by an unspecified object. Kelsey Turner’s ex-boyfriend, Jon Logan Kennison, 29, was sentenced to between 18 and 45 years in prison in July after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy.
KLAS-TV reported that Turner was crying in court but did not comment.
Prosecutors believe Kelsey Turner had an “intimate relationship” with a California psychiatrist
In March 2019, California psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Burchard was reported missing by his longtime partner, Judy Earp, after he never got off their plane from Las Vegas.
Days later, Burchard’s mangled body was found in the trunk of Kelsey Turner’s blue Mercedes-Benz C300. The car was abandoned in the desert near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
According to the Clark County Coroner’s Office, Burchard died of blunt-force injuries to the head after being attacked with an unidentified object. The prosecution claimed that the former Playboy Italy model had an intimate and “transactional” relationship with Burchard, and that his death occurred after the psychiatrist stopped paying the rent on Kelsey Turner’s house in Las Vegas.
Police have further stated that Turner lived in her home with her then-boyfriend, Jon Logan Kennison, and a roommate, later identified as Diana Nicole Pena. The three had coincidentally moved out of the Las Vegas home after Thomas Burchard was killed.
In a bedroom of the Las Vegas home, police reportedly found a broken door, blood, cleaning supplies and items with Kennison’s name on it. Blood, footprints and more cleaning supplies were found in the home’s garage. More evidence, such as blue and white bath towels found in the house and a similar towel found with Burchard’s body, linked Turner to the murder.
Pena and Kennison’s fingerprints were found in the car, along with a baseball bat, and Diana Pena, a former bartender at a Las Vegas Strip resort, pleaded guilty in June 2019 to accessory to murder.
She admitted to helping clean up the crime scene. She also left Las Vegas with Kennison and Kelsey Turner after the murder. During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Pamela Weckerly addressed the type of relationship that existed between Kelsey Turner and Dr. Thomas Burchard, saying:
“There is certainly room for much prurient speculation as to what the nature of the relationship was. I think the facts of this case demonstrate that, with respect to Ms. Turner, this was a transactional relationship, to any extent.”
During the hearing, Chief Deputy Special Public Defender Ashley Sisolak stated that both she and her client agreed that the plea agreement was the best resolution of the 2019 murder case.