Edwin Turner was executed by the State of Mississippi for the murders of two men during an armed robbery. Accordin to court documents Edwin Turner was robbing gas stations and in the process would shoot and kill two men Eddie Brooks and Everett Curry in two different robberies. Edwin Turner who attempted to kill himself when he was eighteen by shooting himself in the head with a rifle would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Edwin Turner would be executed by lethal injection on February 8, 2012
Edwin Turner More News
Mississippi inmate Edwin Hart Turner was executed Wednesday evening for killing two men in a 1995 robbery spree after the courts declined to stop the execution based on arguments that he was mentally ill.
Turner, 38, was administered a lethal injection and died at 6:21 p.m. CST at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, authorities said. The inmate was convicted of killing the two men while robbing gas stations with a friend, Paul Murrell Stewart, in a spree that netted about $400. Stewart, 17 at the time, testified against Turner and was sentenced to life in prison.
Turner was strapped on a gurney wearing white shoes and one of the red prison jumpsuits issued to death row inmates. When a microphone was lowered to his mouth, he said, “No” when asked if he had a final statement. Then the chemicals began flowing through tubes into his body. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and had the appearance of falling asleep .
Turner was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Eddie Brooks and Everett Curry. Brooks was shot to death while working at Mims Turkey Village Truck Stop in Carroll County. Curry was shot to death while pumping gas at the nearby Mims One Stop.
Mississippi Department of Corrections spokeswoman Suzanne Singletary said a sister and cousin of victim Eddie Brooks watched the execution. The brother and son of his other victim, Everett Curry, also witnessed it. They were escorted out of the witness room after the execution, saying nothing as they were led away. Turner had requested that none of his family watch the execution, though two of his attorneys were listed to be witnesses.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused late Wednesday to block the execution. Earlier in the day, Gov. Phil Bryant had refused to grant a reprieve, saying after a review of the case, “I have decided not to grant clemency for his violent acts.”
Earlier, Turner’s lawyers had object ed to the pace of events in the scheduling of the execution.
“Execution was set in this case with only 13 days’ notice – a procedure that would be illegal in most other states. Mississippi has created a time crunch and forced both the courts and the Governor to respond to this most serious of cases with inadequate time and consideration,” said Richard Bourke, director of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center.
James Craig, another LCAC attorney representing Turner, had persuaded U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves on Monday to temporarily block the execution after arguing a Department of Corrections policy prevented Turner from getting tests that could prove he was mentally ill when he killed the two men
That petition said Mississippi is one of 10 states that permit someone who suffered from serious mental illness at the time of the offense to be executed. Turner’s lawyers wanted the court to prohibit the execution of mentally ill people as it did with inm ates considered mentally retarded.
On Wednesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned the stay.
Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said Turner was talkative in the hours before the execution Wednesday but declined to discuss the crimes for which he was sentenced to death. Asked if Turner seemed mentally ill, Epps said of the visit with the prisoner in those final hours: “No, not to me. He appears to be on the ball.”
There’s little dispute that Turner killed two men while robbing gas stations, then went home and had a meal of shrimp and cinnamon rolls before going to sleep.
Turner’s lawyers argued in the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that he inherited a serious mental illness. They argued that his father is thought to have committed suicide by shooting a gun into a shed filled with dynamite and his grandmother and great-grandmother both spent time in the state mental hospital.
Turner’s attorneys say he also was se verely disfigured during a suicide attempt at 18 by putting a rifle in his mouth and pulling the trigger.
Craig said Turner spent three months in the State Hospital at Whitfield being treated for mental problems after slitting his wrists in another suicide attempt in 1995 – prior to the killings later that year. He said Turner was diagnosed with depression that year and given the antidepressant medication Prozac. Craig believes Turner was misdiagnosed and that Prozac compounded his problems.
But state Attorney General Jim Hood Hood has said Turner’s lawyers were bringing up old arguments that had been rejected by the courts before.
“We argue that his mental health claims have been fully addressed, and that this present action is nothing more than an attempt to re-litigate a claim that has been properly adjudicated at every turn,” Hood said in a recent statement.
Turner was convicted of killing the two men while robbing gas stations with a friend, Paul Murrell Stewart, in a spree that netted about $400. Stewart, 17 at the time, testified against Turner and was sentenced to life in prison.
According to court records, Stewart said he and Turner were drinking beer and smoking marijuana when they decided to arm themselves with rifles and rob a store Dec. 13, 1995. They picked Mims Turkey Village Truck Stop on Mississippi’s U.S. Highway 82, where 37-year-old Eddie Brooks was working
Turner shot Brooks in the chest, according to Stewart. He said the two went behind the counter but couldn’t open the cash register, not even when Turner shot at it. An enraged Turner then “placed the barrel of his gun inches from Eddie Brooks’ head and pulled the trigger,” the court records said.
The two left empty-handed and drove nearby to Mims One Stop, where 38-year-old prison guard Everett Curry was pumping gas. Stewart went inside to rob the store while Turner forced Curry to the ground at gunpoint.
“As Curry was plea ding for his life, Turner shot him in the head,” the records said.
Turner and Stewart went back to Turner’s house, where they ate dinner and fell asleep. When they awoke, deputies were knocking at the door.