Sentencing phase begins in CarQuest killings
BATON ROUGE - Prosecutors made their case that a double murderer should die for his crime.
Lee Turner shot two co-workers, Edward Gurtner and Randy Chaney, four years ago in Baton Rouge during a robbery at the CarQuest store at Airline and Siegen Lane.
On Tuesday family members on both sides of the courtroom were crying and holding their breath as the state and defense tried to persuade the jury why Turner should or shouldn't face the death penalty.
After opening statements were made the state called Gurtner's son and wife to the stand. They painted a picture of a son who graduated without a father and his brother who still can't say 'I love you' because he's scared it will mean the person he says it to won't come home.
Chaney's daughter said her dad only got to mark one of two boxes in his life, walking her down the aisle but not getting to become a grandfather.
The defense called Turner's former basketball coach, principal and current warden to the stand who described Turner as quiet, humble and shy. His attorneys called upon the jury saying, "This is a question of your morals, your virtues, a question if you can find it in your heart to spare this mans life' before painting a picture of a damaged teen growing up without a steady home."
Turner's mother and stepmom told News 2 they took offense to the description of his home life saying they did everything in their power to ensure he knew he was loved.
"Through this whole process we want Lee to know we love him and support him no matter what," said Melissa Falls, Turner's mother. "We are not giving up hope, we're still praying. They have seen so many negative things, but we know Lee from birth and the picture they are painting of him of being a monster, we know that's not our Lee."
The defense wrapped Tuesday with former teachers. Turner's mother says she'll be on the stand later this week, along with his stepmother and older brother.
Prosecutors expect a decision to come Friday.