Man gets 18 years to life in prison in Springfield woman’s death

A Springfield man won’t be eligible for parole for at least 18 years after he received a life sentence Friday.

Tevious Turner, 35, was found guilty of murder in the death of 29-year-old Melody Turner. He was also convicted and sentenced to 30 months for tampering with evidence and 18 months for improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. He received a life sentence for murder with the possibility of parole after 18 years. He will serve the other sentences concurrently.

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Melody Turner and Tevious Turner aren’t related.

Melody Turner was found bleeding and unresponsive in the driver’s seat of a car at the intersection of East North and Spring streets on Nov. 18, according to court records. She later died.

During the trial prosecutors said Tevious Turner got into a fight with Melody Turner’s cousin over a paycheck. When the cousin refused to give Tevious Turner the check, he reached into his car, grabbed a gun and reached into the car where the cousin was a passenger and Melody Turner was the driver.

Melody Turner began to back the car up, prosecutors said, when Tevious Turner fired the shot that hit her.

Before his sentence was read, Tevious Turner apologized.

“I would like to say I’m deeply sorry to the family for their loss, for my actions,” he said

The sentence should have been harsher because her death was needless, said Clarissa Turner, Melody Turner’s mother.

“For $400, you take somebody’s life,” she said.

READ MORE: Springfield man on trial for shooting death near major intersection

But she said this is only the beginning of her fight for her daughter.

“I’m going to be protesting against gun violence,” she said. “I’m going to start here first.”

Her daughter was kind, she said, and everyone who knew her will remember her in that way.

“Melody is a beautiful child,” she said. “Someone you would adore. Just sweet, outgoing.”

Tevious Turner plans to appeal his conviction, according to his attorney Ben Swift, on the basis that his actions warranted a charge of reckless homicide but not murder.

“This was a case where his conduct was reckless not purposeful … We hope that it gets reversed on appeal so he gets another opportunity to lessen the charges,” Swift said.


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