Lynn Turner
Ric Feld  /  AP file
Lynn Turner is shown in Cobb Superior Court in Marietta, Ga., during her trial in 2004.
updated 3/27/2007 2:29:10 PM ET 2007-03-27T18:29:10

Jurors Tuesday spared the life of a former 911 dispatcher convicted of using a sweet, odorless chemical in antifreeze to kill her boyfriend in 2001 — the same way she had poisoned her husband six years earlier.

Lynn Turner could have faced the death penalty. Instead, the jury sentenced her to life in prison without parole.

Turner was already serving life in prison following her 2004 conviction for the antifreeze death of her police-officer husband in 1995.

She had maintained her innocence in both cases and did not testify at trial or during her sentencing hearing Monday. Her mother, Helen Gregory, tearfully pleaded with the jury for Turner’s life.

Prosecutors said Turner was motivated by greed for the victims’ life insurance money. Tests on the victims’ bodies showed they were poisoned with ethylene glycol, a chemical in antifreeze. During the 2004 trial, prosecutors suggested the substance could have been placed in foods such as Jell-O.

The jury deliberated for about five hours before reaching a sentencing decision — about the same amount of time it took them to find Turner guilty on Saturday of malice murder in the 2001 death of Randy Thompson, a Forsyth County firefighter.

The jury’s sentence is final. In Georgia, in a case where the state seeks the death penalty, the jury issues the sentence.

The murder charge in Thompson’s death was filed after Lynn Turner’s conviction in the death of her husband, Glenn Turner.

For one family, closure
Thompson’s family said afterward they believed justice had been done.

Perry Thompson, Randy’s father, said he found closure on Saturday when Turner was found guilty.

“That proved that he hadn’t taken his own life,” he said. “We knew that all along anyway, but we wanted everybody else to know.”

“Nothing can bring him back,” said Thompson’s mother, Nita.

Defense attorney Vic Reynolds said Turner was grateful that the jury didn’t sentence her to death.

“The realization will now sink in that she’s spending the rest of her life in prison in this state,” Reynolds said. “She’s trying to come to grips with that, but she’s very thankful that the jury chose the life option over the death option.”

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