High school basketball star to be accused in stabbing

November 17, 1991|By Eric Gregory | Eric Gregory,Knight-Ridder News Service

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Usually when Carlos Turner is in the news, it's as a gliding, breaking, quick-shooting basketball star who has helped his high school win two state titles and himself a college scholarship.

But this time, the story is about an obsessed boyfriend, who police said smashed through windows, knocked down a bedroom door and stabbed his ex-girlfriend before turning the 12-inch blade on his own heart.

"I've never really known the guy before," said Sherryn Page, a family friend who witnessed the attack. "But last night, he was a madman."

Turner, 17, was in intensive care Friday night at Humana Hospital-University of Louisville, where he underwent surgery to repair a torn blood vessel in his heart. His condition was listed as stable but serious.

His former girlfriend, Nicole Shrivers, 18, was in fair condition at the hospital with stab wounds to her back, neck, chest and arms.

Police said they expected to file burglary and assault charges against Turner.

For Turner, it marked the end of a tumultuous week that saw him signing to play college basketball for the University of South Carolina, then being questioned by police hours later after being accused of physically abusing Shrivers.

For Shrivers, Thursday night's attack ended a month of beatings, friends said, during which she had to have adults escort her home from Pleasure Ridge Park High School.

The couple dated the last three years, relatives said, and had two children. Their first baby died last year of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome when he was 2 months old. Their second son is 3 months old.

Turner's future appeared bright. A 6-foot-6, 190-pound guard, he was considered the leading candidate this year for Mr. Basketball honors.

In his 101-game career, he has played on two consecutive state championship teams, scored 1,214 points, pulled down 487 rebounds and dished out 309 assists.

"You could see flashes of brilliance in his game," said recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons, who ranked him the 73rd best prospect in the nation this year. "But there were fluctuations in his performance. And you hear things off the court, personal problems."

Page said Turner sometimes took his emotions out on Shrivers. They would often break up, especially in the last month. Finally, jealousy got the best of Turner, she said.

"When they broke up, he said if he couldn't have her, no one else could."

A little before 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Turner appeared at Shrivers' house in Louisville, police said. Without saying a word, he kicked in the patio window connected to a garage, then left.

"He was trying to show how bad he was, I guess," Page said.

Shrivers' stepmother, Ernestine Kimbrough, then went to the Jefferson County courthouse and took out a restraining order against Turner, Page said. "But that didn't stop him, either," she said.

He returned to the house just before midnight, police said.

Page said she, Shrivers, Kimbrough and another friend, Sharon Smith, were in different rooms when they heard someone trying to get in a window above the sink in the kitchen.

Turner was outside, she said, breaking apart a redwood patio chair.

He took the pieces and smashed in a kitchen window. Protruding shards kept him from getting inside, she said.

He went to the double patio door and tried to enter there, Page said.

He went to a third window outside the kitchen and grabbed a piece of the broken chair. "He came in storming," Page said.

"I've never seen anything travel that fast. When the glass broke in succession like that, it was a horrible feeling. One after another. Boom, boom, boom, boom."

The women barricaded themselves in Kimbrough's bedroom. Turner put a heavy flower pot on his foot, Page said, and kicked in the door, knocking Kimbrough to the floor. Kimbrough fled and called the police.

Page said Kimbrough had an unloaded gun under the bed and had planned to use it as a "shock tactic" if she was ever threatened. But Turner grabbed it and beat Shrivers as she retreated to a bathroom, she said.

Turner then ran to the kitchen and found a butcher knife. "He came back and stabbed her more times than I have fingers and toes to count," Page said.

"He kept saying, 'You're going to die, bitch.'"

Page dialed 911. Shrivers' screams of "no," "stop" and "help me" fill a police tape recording of the call. Turner can be heard in the background yelling, "I told you I'd be back."

Page said she last saw Turner running under a street light being chased by police officers. He was found lying at the end of the road minutes later, bleeding from a self-inflicted stab wound.

The news spread quickly through Louisville, said Marilyn Hohmann, Fairdale's principal. Most students had heard about the attack before coming to school.

Counseling was offered for students, she said. "They were saddened, in disbelief."

Lloyd Gardner, Turner's coach at Fairdale, said his team was shocked. "We were very close people."

Still, Gardner put the players through their regular practice. "I felt we needed to go on. It wasn't going to do the kids any good to just go home and sit around and think about it."

"I don't know what would've driven him to do something like that," said Jermaine Brown, who played on Fairdale's championship team last year with Turner. Brown now attends the University of Tennessee on a basketball scholarship.

"It was a shock. I couldn't believe it when they told me. He's not that type of person."

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