The son of a bank executive found his mother's body after she was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend at her home last week, Los Angeles County prosecutors alleged.
The woman, Michelle Annette Avan, 48, died from a "senseless act of violence" at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Anthony Duwayne Turner, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement Monday. Turner has been charged with one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary.
"Ms. Avan was a leader in our community, and this senseless act of violence has resulted in a significant loss to us all," Gascón said.
Turner, 52, of Westchester, entered Avan's home Aug. 3, Gascón said, and left the following day. "The next day, the victim's son discovered her body inside the house," Gascón said.
Avan was a senior vice president at Bank of America, where she was responsible for helping hire and develop talent, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
"We are devastated by the news. Michelle was a valued member of our company for more than 20 years and will be greatly missed," Bank of America said in a statement.
Turner pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, NBC Los Angeles reported.
Avan had two children and a grandchild, the station reported.
KABC-TV of Los Angeles reported that Turner worked with Avan.
The station also reported that Avan's son, Trevon, said: "My mom Michelle Avan didn't even have the opportunity to see her granddaughter turn 2. We're asking the public, we're asking everyone at home to please help us in making sure that this case gets the attention it deserves. And that we get justice for our mom, Michelle Avan."
Kellen Davis, Turner's attorney, said his client will be exonerated.
"Nothing about the allegations raised by the district attorney's office so far has been substantiated. Nor do we believe they will be substantiated," Davis said. "We look forward to redeeming Mr. Turner and his reputation through the court process."
Davis extended his sympathies to Avan's loved ones Tuesday night.
Turner remained jailed Tuesday night, Davis said. Bail was set at $2 million, according to records of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The records showed that Turner was arrested Thursday and booked into the Van Nuys Jail.
His next court date, according to sheriff's department records, was scheduled for next week.