Springfield man on trial for shooting death near major intersection

The man police alleged shot and killed a woman who was found in car near a busy intersection in downtown Springfield is on trial for murder.

Tevious Turner, 35, has been charged with aggravated murder, murder, felony murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and improper handling firearms in a motor vehicle in connection with the death of 29-year-old Melody Turner. The two aren’t related.

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Tevious Turner allegedly was in an argument with Melody Turner’s cousin, Evan Stewart, on East Main Street in Springfield on Nov. 18, according to court documents. Prosecutors alleged the suspect leaned into the car and shot Melody Turner as she drove away.

Police said the woman was then found unresponsive in a car near East North and Spring streets and bleeding heavily from her left ear when they arrived to the scene, court records say.

Stewart, who was a passenger in the car but wasn’t injured, testified in court on Wednesday. He said he and Tevious Turner had a disagreement about a check at the Quality Inn on East Leffel Lane where Stewart had been employed and where Tevious Turner was a manager.

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Stewart and Melody Turner left the hotel to cash a check at an East Main Street business when Tevious Turner arrived and began arguing with Stewart inside the store, according to police records. Stewart said he exited the store and got into the passenger side of the car while Melody Turner was in the driver’s seat.

Then Tevious Turner allegedly, “retrieved a firearm from his vehicle and he approached the passenger side,” Stewart said in court.

Attorneys played surveillance video in court that appears to show Tevious Turner beside the vehicle as it backs up and then moves forward. Stewart testified that Turner fired a shot when the vehicle began to move forward.

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Stewart said Tevious Turner reached his hands into the car and tried to grab the check from Stewart.

Tevious Turner’s attorney, Ben Swift, questioned Stewart on the stand.

“He’s not trying to do anyone harm, he’s trying to get the check, correct?” Swift said.

Stewart replied, “He had a firearm, sir.”

A medical examiner from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office also testified on Wednesday that Melody Turner died from a gunshot wound.

Swift declined to be interviewed about the case on Wednesday. Melody turner’s family also declined to comment. The trial is expected to continue this week.

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