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Ga. jury convicts woman in antifreeze death

A former 911 operator was convicted Saturday of murdering her boyfriend by poisoning him with antifreeze.
Antifreeze Deaths
Lynn Turner is shown in Cobb Superior Court in Marietta, Ga., on Feb. 2, 2004, during her trial for the death of her husband.Ric Feld / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former 911 operator was convicted Saturday of murdering her boyfriend by poisoning him with antifreeze.

Lynn Turner could face a death sentence in the 2001 killing of Randy Thompson, a Forsyth County firefighter and the father of her two children. The same jury that convicted Turner will return to court at 9 a.m. Monday to decide whether to impose that sentence.

She is already serving a life sentence for the 1995 death of her husband, Glenn Turner, a Cobb County police officer. The murder charge in Thompson’s death was filed after that 2004 conviction.

The trial went to the jury Saturday morning following closing arguments on Friday.

After the verdict was announced, members of both Thompson’s and Turner’s family wept. Turner did not look back as she was led out of the courtroom.

Attorney said he had a tough job
Defense attorney Jimmy Berry indicated the verdict was not unexpected. “You know when you’ve got one conviction already it’s really tough to convince a jury she had nothing to do with the second (death),” he said.

Of the jury’s sentencing deliberations, he said: “I hope we’ve got some people on there who will give us a little benefit of the doubt.”

District Attorney Penny Penn declined to comment after the verdict.

Turner, who had maintained her innocence in both cases, did not testify in either trial.

In closing arguments Friday, Penn said the motive in both cases was Turner’s greed for the victims’ life insurance money.

Defense claims character assassination
Lawyers for Turner, 38, rested their case earlier Friday after a defense toxicologist testified that while one of the victims showed signs of antifreeze poisoning the other did not, casting doubt on the prosecution theory that the deaths were similar.

Defense lawyers have argued there’s no direct evidence proving murder.

Police didn’t launch a criminal investigation of the deaths until a few months after Thompson died.

Prosecutors said tests on their bodies showed they were poisoned with ethylene glycol, a sweet but odorless chemical in antifreeze. During Turner’s 2004 trial they suggested it could have been placed in foods such as Jell-O.

Penn said during her closing argument Friday that even though no one saw her do it, Turner was the last person with both men before they became ill and was the last person to give them anything to eat or drink.

Defense lawyer Vic Reynolds said the prosecution’s evidence adds up to character assassination, not murder. “They can predict. They can assume, but that isn’t the law,” Reynolds said.