Prosecutor Has Agreed To Deal To Rule Out Death Penalty
11:51 AM, Oct 1, 2009
The family members of seven people killed in Indianapolis' largest mass slaying are now demanding the death penalty for the suspected triggerman, after a deal made by the prosecutor took the option off the table.Janie Covarrubias, whose father and two younger brothers were among those killed in 2006, told 6News' Rafael Sanchez Wednesday that she and other family members consented to the deal before learning all of the facts in the case against Desmond Turner, 31.
"I was just recently allowed to see the murder pictures and the autopsy pictures. After seeing those pictures, I don't see any reason why he should be allowed to live," she said.Turner earlier this month waived his right to a jury trial so that the state wouldn't seek the death penalty in the case.The Marion County Prosecutor's Office said that the deal will save the county tens of thousands of dollars and ensure Turner spends the rest of his life in prison if prosecutors win their case before the judge.But Covarrubias called the option of life without parole ridiculous, and said that even though she had spoken out against the death penalty before, she thought it was the only option in the case."I was told by the prosecutors that it's hell for them to be sitting in a cell for eight hours a day. (Well) it's been hell for me for the past three years not having a father and not being able to grow up with my two youngest brothers," she said. "They're trying to get away with something horrendous that they did. They murdered seven people in cold blood."Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi released a statement Wednesday indicating his office would still pursue life without parole."We reiterate to the public that all decisions regarding the case were approved by the family after lengthy consultation. Despite todays events, our office continues to work tirelessly to ensure that Turner spends the rest of his life in prison," Brizzi said in the statement.Turner's trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 12. James Stewart, 33, faces a Nov. 30 trial date in the same case.Four adults and three children were slain on June 1 at a home in the 500 block of Hamilton Avenue. Those killed were Magno Albarran; his mother, Valdez, 46; her husband, Alberto Covarrubias, 56; and Magno's sister, Flora Albarran, 22. The slain children were Flora's son, Luis, 5; and two sons of Valdez and Covarrubias, Alberto, 11, and David, 8.Authorities have said Turner and Stewart ransacked the home of Emma Valdez because they mistakenly believed a safe containing money and cocaine was inside.Court documents say Stewart was searching for the safe when he came upon Valdez's 29-year-old son, Magno Albarran, holding a gun on Turner. Stewart's girlfriend told investigators that he told her he fired a shot at Albarran and that Turner then "started shooting everybody."Among the allegations are that Turner shot the three children as they were lying face down on mattresses.