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August 11, 2015

DAILYKENN.com -- It may be years before the appeals are exhausted and Lee Turner Jr. is put to death.

The 25-year-old was sentenced this week to die by lethal injection for killing two people in 2011.

Turner murdered coworkers Edward Gurtner, 43, and Randy Chaney, 54, at a Carquest store in Baton Rouge, La. where he had recently been employed. The motive was robbery.

Reports say Turner's family made the traditional display of overt emotion as the sentence was read; one man collapsed in tears and was escorted from the courtroom.

No mercy was shown for the victims.

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Lee Turner Jr., 25, should be executed for murdering two people at a CarQuest auto parts store in Baton Rouge in 2011, a jury determined Friday.

It took a little less than 2 hours for the jury of 10 women and two men to decide Turner should die for the deaths of Edward Gurtner, 43, and Randy Chaney, 54, on March 27, 2011. All three were CarQuest employees: Turner was newly hired when he robbed the store on Airline Highway and fatally shot the men.

A row of Turner's family members sobbed as the sentence was read, and one young man collapsed in tears between the benches and had to be escorted from the courtroom. Turner said nothing, but could be seen wiping his eyes.

Turner will be formally sentenced by a judge in August.

During the penalty phase of the trial, Turner's defense attorneys had several members of his family testify about his upbringing, which they described as troubled. They said Turner's mother failed to bond with her son, too busy fighting -- sometimes physically -- with a string of live-in boyfriends to provide the emotional care her children needed. Relatives, teachers and a former basketball coach described Turner as a well-behaved and artistic child. He had no criminal record prior to the murders, and the defense had witnesses testify that he had no discipline problems as an inmate.

"In the time that he has been incarcerated, he has tried to redeem himself," defense attorney Scott Collier said in closing arguments. "And he will live with that decision (to murder two men) for the rest of his life. He's going to die at Angola."



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