Jurors entered into deliberation Friday morning after hearing closing arguments in the trial of Steven Turner, charged with attempted murder after shooting his wife during an argument over marijuana plants he was growing in her basement.
“Are we supposed to believe that Mr. Turner wasn’t in control of his body?” the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Shuler, asked jurors when addressing the issue of intent. Throughout the trial, he highlighted conflicting statements from Turner about the shooting.
The “pivotal moment,” he said, is when Turner pulls the gun out the drawer, grows more calm and says, “Kate, get away,” right before shooting her.
“The moment when all of Mr. Turner’s rage and fury crystalized into pure malice,” Shuler said. That moment, he argued, shows that Turner intended to shoot his wife and is therefore guilty of attempted murder.
Defense attorney Amanda Clark Palmer likewise believes the video is the key to deciding whether Turner is guilty or innocent. But she has a different interpretation.
She reminded jurors of the “fear and panic” and Turner’s voice immediately after he shot his wife. “That’s not acting, that’s reacting,” she said, arguing that his reaction is evidence that he did not intend to shoot her.
She also noted that the shell casing was still in the chamber when the gun was found, which she said is evidence that the gun was fired accidentally. A forensic firearms expert hired by the defense testified earlier in the trial that that may be evidence of an accidental shooting, though he said what happens most often in accidental discharges is that the shell casing becomes vertically lodged, a point Shuler seized on in his closing argument.
Palmer also used a still shot of the video to argue that Turner was facing away from Lawson when he shot her, whereas Shuler argued that “He was looking dead at her.”