The case against an Arizona man accused of k*illing his teenage stepdaughter has been dismissed by a judge in Phoenix.
Due to Alissa Turney’s alleged death, Michael Turney was placed under arrest in 2020.
Body camera footage from April McLaughlin’s animal abuse and elder abuse case in Chandler has been made public.
When Alissa vanished from Paradise Valley High School in 2001, she was a 17-year-old student. Michael was apprehended after fresh information regarding Alissa’s disappearance, despite the fact that her stepfather had initially reported her as a runaway, saying she had left a note and was heading to California.
No sign of Alissa’s body has surfaced.
Michael Turney was freed from prison after serving three years, one day after a judge dismissed the mur*der charge against him.
Alissa Turney, Turney’s stepdaughter, was on trial for what is believed to have been her mu*rder. Alissa disappeared in 2001.
The prosecution’s case was based solely on circumstantial evidence because they lacked DNA, blood, or crime scene evidence. Several of Turney’s own children as well as Phoenix Police cold case investigators testified against Turney, but in the end, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sam Myers ruled that there was insufficient evidence to find Turney guilty of second-degree mur*der.
“This needs to end,” Turney declared. “We don’t imprison and torture Americans for three years in a dungeon without the provision of bail. We just don’t do that.”
Turney was observed walking with the aid of a cane. He called his incarceration a torment.
“Life necessities being deprived, sleep and the whole nine yards,” Turney stated. “It’s horrible.”
Following the dismissal of the charges against him, 75-year-old Turney intends to discuss his future plans in a primetime television interview. If those plans come to pass, Turney would have participated in these types of interviews for at least the second time. Turney participated in a nationally televised interview as part of a story on the mystery surrounding his stepdaughter’s disappearance before he was charged with her death.
Turney added that he will never give up looking for Alissa or the person who ki*lled her. Additionally, he stated that his feelings for Alissa’s siblings, who gave depositions against him during the trial, remained unchanged.
“I adore my kids,” Turney declared.
The defense’s request to have Michael Turney’s case dismissed has been granted by the judge.
A number of witnesses, including cold case detectives and Alissa’s siblings, testified against their father during the trial, which started a week ago. The judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to find Turney guilty of k*illing Alissa. In addition, the judge granted Turney’s release.
In response to the judge’s decision, Jamie Jackson, Turney’s lawyer, issued a statement.
“He wanted to express his happiness that the judge made the decision in his favour. The prospect of being able to leave custody excites him. According to Jackson, “He is obviously still very concerned about the case, about Alissa, and about trying to figure out who k*illed her.”
Attorneys claim that the decision is akin to a “not guilty” verdict, meaning Turney will not be subject to a second degree mur*der charge for the same incident in the future. Turney is anticipated to be freed no later than July 18.
Regarding the judge’s decision, Rachel Mitchell, the Maricopa County Attorney, also released a statement. That says:
“Junior Alissa Turney of Paradise Valley High School interrupted her boyfriend’s woodshop class on May 17, 2001, claiming that her stepfather was picking her up early from school. This marked the final instance in which Alissa was seen or heard from. Her family battled for justice for more than 20 years, and their tenacity is evidence of their love and devotion for Alissa. I am pleased with the prosecutor’s and law enforcement’s diligent work on this case. Even though our office disagrees with the judge’s decision from today, we nevertheless accept the court’s judgement.”
Video recorded on May 16, 2001, the day before Alissa Turney vanished, reveals that Michael Turney had wiretapped phone calls and installed security cameras both inside and outside his house. Police discovered hundreds of tape recordings during a 2008 search, but none from the day Alissa vanished. Turney talked about that in an interview on television.
“Why didn’t you hold onto the evidence that would have cleared your name? The audio recording of that phone call you claimed Alissa made, and the surveillance footage from the day she vanished?”
Michael replied, “There was nothing on those tapes, they were told that.”
Detective Stuart Somershoe, who is now retired, testified that during the interviews, Alissa’s friends and family mentioned that she was unhappy with Turney’s treatment of her.
“Did you do anything sexual with your stepdaughter?”
Michael: “I wouldn’t do that, why? Other than hearsay, innuendos, and lies, they have no evidence at all.”
“If they have no proof that doesn’t mean you didn’t do it.”
Michael: “Well, to reiterate, only myself and Alissa are able to verify whether or not I actually did it. I sit here and Alissa is not here. All I can say is that I did nothing at all to harm my daughter, until hell freezes over.”
“He denies having done anything to his daughter?”
“But he’s absolutely correct, the only people that would know would be her and him.”
“And she’s not here.”
Second-degree mur*der is the charge against 75-year-old Michael Turney. During a conversation with his father, one of Turney’s sons testified that Turney informed him that Alissa had passed away.
Michael Turney, according to the prosecution, told police that on May 17, 2001, he left Paradise Valley High School early to pick up his stepdaughter, Alissa. He was the one to inform friends and family that Alissa was missing, and later that day he called the police to report that she had run away.
When Phoenix Police started looking into Alissa’s disappearance in 2008, James Turney, her stepbrother, was one of the people they spoke with.
“Did you later ask your dad what happened to Alissa?”
James replies, “Yes.”
“Did you father tell you that two people.. two electrical workers had kil*led her?”
James: “From the union, yes.”
“In the 1980s, was your father at that time working?”
James replied: “Yes, he was an electrician.”
Due to a prior court decision, the jury will not hear about a conversation James had with Alissa during which she detailed encounters with Michael Turney that left her deeply distressed.
“According to Mr. James Turney, the defendant touched Alissa’s leg in the car during the incident. She claimed to have screamed as she fled the car. Prosecutor Thomas Bailey stated, “She said they went for a walk, she got emotional, and she told them her dad tried something and because of that, she wanted to get out of the house.”
The events took place in the weeks preceding Alissa’s abduction. According to the prosecution, they lack any witnesses who can attest to Alissa’s stepfather abusing her sexually.
Nineteen years after Alissa vanished, Phoenix Police detectives are scheduled to testify before the jury on Wednesday. It was through their investigation that Michael Turney was apprehended and charged with mu*rder.
In her testimony, Alissa’s half-sister explained why she thought her own father was guilty.
When Sarah Turney’s sister Alissa vanished, she was twelve years old.
Sarah played a crucial role in the investigation that led to her father Michael Turney’s arrest for second-degree mur*der years later, according to the police.
Sarah claims she never gave up searching for her sister and that as she grew older, she came to believe that Alissa’s disappearance might have something to do with her own father.
Attorney: “But she would have problems with comprehension and memory, correct?”
Sarah: “I was informed that.”
Attorney: “That’s what you told Detective Anderson.”
Sarah: “I was informed that.”
Attorney: “Did you mention anything like this about my dad in any of those interviews? “Yes or no?”
Sarah said, “I was brainwashed to believe a certain thing about my sister by my father.”
Phoenix police started looking into Alissa’s case seriously in 2008 after growing suspicious. Sarah described to the jury a talk she had with her father.
Sarah remarked, “He promised to tell me on his deathbed.” “I met up with him at Starbucks in October 2017 to meet him face to face and finally get some answers.”
2020 saw Michael Turney’s arrest. Officials at the time would not discuss the specifics of the evidence that brought him to justice for Alissa’s mu*rder.
This afternoon, Alissa’s childhood friend and former boss also gave testimony.
Due to their investigation leading to Michael Turney’s apprehension, two Phoenix cold case detectives are scheduled to testify later this week for the jury.
On this day in Turney’s trial, prosecutor Vince Imbordino gave a statement.
Imbordino stated, “This defendant was the last person to see her alive,” in reference to Alissa.
Prosecutors claim that Turney left early from Paradise Valley High School to pick up his stepdaughter, then drove to their north Phoenix home. Turney reported to the police later that day that Alissa had fled and left a note indicating her intention to travel to California.
When Alissa Turney vanished in 2008, authorities started to suspect foul play and searched the Turneys’ previous residence.
“What they discovered was the defendant had literally hundreds of audio tapes of phone calls recorded over the years,” Imbordino said. “Literally tubs of cassette tapes, tubs of VHS tapes.”
Police searched through several years’ worth of recordings, but they were unable to locate any proof of what had occurred.
“They were not captured on camera that day in the house. There’s no footage of them fighting on camera. There’s no footage of her walking away with her rucksack. Nothing remains from that day,” Imbordino remarked.
This day, Turney’s lawyer also gave a speech.
Michael Turney’s lawyer stated, “This trial is about Michael Turney finally getting his day in court.”
Defence attorneys assert that Turney looked for Alissa on his own, even going as far as California. In 2010, Turney entered a guilty plea to the charge of possessing over twenty pipe bombs, and he was sentenced to federal prison after police discovered multiple firearms and homemade explosives in his residence.
“There’s no evidence,” the lawyer for Turney stated. “Where Alissa passed away is a secret. The cause of her death is a secret. To be honest, they are unable to even confirm her death. Though there is no evidence, they think she did.”
Sarah, Alissa’s younger sister, also testified. Sarah has assisted with the mur*der investigation through social media. When Alissa vanished, Sarah was around twelve years old. Sarah recalls entering Alissa’s bedroom on that day.
“I saw what looked like the contents of her rucksack dumped on the ground,” Sarah stated. “On her dresser, I saw the note and her cell phone right there on the top.”
Sarah thought of the note she had found, handwritten.
“It said something like, ‘Dad and Sara, I really decided to go to California when you dropped me off at school today. That’s why I took $300 away from you, Dad. You’ve always said that you wanted me gone, Sarah. You now possess it. Sarah said, “Alissa.”
The next two weeks are anticipated to be spent with the trial.