Man is charged with murdering his mother, 63 Virgin Mary statue used to kill woman

November 06, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A convicted burglar who pleaded with a judge for a reduced sentence last year so he could get closer to his mother was charged yesterday with bludgeoning her to death with a bust of the Virgin Mary, just 10 days after he got out of jail, Annapolis police said.

Detectives charged Michael Wesley Turner, 29, with first-degree murder after questioning him for several hours in the death of 63-year-old Marie H. Turner, who lived in a small red brick home in the 100 block of Roselawn Road.

Turner, who has a history of cocaine abuse, according to court records, had been arguing with his mother about money and the use of her car since he moved back in with her last week, neighbors said.

Turner was released from the Anne Arundel County Detention Center Oct. 27 after serving time for violating probation. He was arrested last week on charges of stealing a meat slicer from a truck belonging to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Annapolis and was released on his own recognizance.

Turner was sentenced to two years in jail in June 1992 for breaking into the Bowie Elks Club in Gambrills six months earlier.

In September 1992, Turner twice wrote to Circuit Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth pleading for a reduced sentence, saying he only got into trouble because he had recently separated from his wife, Susan, and his father had just died. He has two children, 3 and 5 years old.

"My mother lives alone in Annapolis," he wrote in one letter that is part of the court file. "I would like to be closer to her. She is basically all I have left next to my kids."

Yesterday, Annapolis police said that they still were seeking a motive in the slaying, though Detective Dave Garcia said authorities were looking into reports that Turner allegedly stole from his mother to buy drugs.

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said that she was reading about 4 a.m. when she heard a car back out of the driveway of Ms. Turner's home and then return about 30 minutes later.

At 5:11 a.m., Annapolis police said, Turner called 911 and reported that the house had been broken into and that his mother had been assaulted.

Officers arrived minutes later and found Ms. Turner's body on the floor in the bedroom, police said.

Detective Garcia said that the killer had hit the woman in the head with the religious statue, which police found lying next to the body.

Turner was taken to police headquarters and questioned for several hours before he was formally charged, police said.

He was to go before a court commissioner in Annapolis last night and is scheduled for a bail review in District Court Monday.

His two-year jail sentence stemmed from the break-in at the Elks Club in December 1991 and another break-in on Rowe Boulevard four months earlier.

He began serving the two-year sentence June 18, 1992, but it was reduced to 18 months in September 1992 by Judge Rushworth, who had received letters from Turner and from his boss at Minuteman Press in Gambrills.

"I have kept in touch with Mr. Turner since his incarceration and have seen the devastating effect it has had on him," John R. Lee, his boss, wrote. "He is without doubt a changed person. . . . I am confident the legal system will never again see Michael Wesley Turner."

Turner was released on parole Nov. 20, 1992, and ordered not to harass his mother. He went to work at Minuteman Press, said Al Kosla, one of the owners.

But court records show that Turner was charged with violating his parole for not attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and for harassing his mother and was sent back to jail July 12, 1993.

He was released 10 days ago but was on probation until April 1995.

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