Kelsey Turner to be sentenced after guilty murder plea
A former model was sentenced to prison Tuesday for murdering a California psychiatrist with her boyfriend and dumping the body in the desert in 2019.
Kelsey Turner, 29, pleaded guilty in November to second-degree murder in connection with the slaying of 71-year-old Dr. Thomas Burchard. She entered what is known as an Alford plea, which means she only admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to prove her guilty.
Turner’s boyfriend, 30-year-old Jon “Logan” Kennison, was sentenced to prison in July after pleading guilty to one count of murder, and the couple’s roommate, Diana Pena, pleaded guilty in June 2019 to aiding and abetting murder.
On Tuesday, District Judge Carli Kierny sentenced Turner to 10 to 25 years in prison.
Burchard’s body was found on March 7, 2019, in the trunk of Turner’s abandoned Mercedes-Benz C300 east of Las Vegas near Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Police have said Burchard traveled to Las Vegas in early March 2019 to visit Turner, with whom he had an intimate relationship. Burchard’s longtime girlfriend, Judy Earp, previously told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he paid for Turner’s rent in Las Vegas and California.
Turner’s Facebook and Instagram accounts at the time of her arrest in 2019 identified her as a model who appeared in magazines such as Playboy Italia and Maxim.
Pena testified before a grand jury that during Burchard’s visit, Turner became upset with him about the images and messages he found on the doctor’s phone. She testified that during an argument with Turner and Kennison, she saw Kennison swing a bat at Burchard in their Southeast Valley home.
She said Turner and Kennison had originally planned to take Burchard to a hospital. Burchard had gotten into Turner’s Mercedes, but Pena said Turner began demanding that her boyfriend “knock Thomas off.” Pena testified that she saw Kennison covered in blood that night, and a baseball bat was later found with Burchard’s body.
Pena testified that the three stayed in Rio before turning off their phones and leaving the country. Turner was arrested on March 21, 2019, in Stockton, California.
Kennison was sentenced to 18 to 45 years in prison on charges of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit murder. His lawyers have written in court documents that his attack on Burchard was a “crime of passion” and they accused Turner of being a “master manipulator who could not resist”.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Katelyn Newberg at [email protected] or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.