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Former Model Receives Sentence for Murdering California Doctor in Vegas

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 11, 2023 10:50 am

RENO, Nev. (775 Times, NV Globe) – A former men’s magazine model was given a 10-to-25-year jail term on Tuesday in Nevada for the murder of a California doctor, whose bludgeoned body was discovered in the trunk of her abandoned car just outside of Las Vegas in 2019.

The so-called Alford plea and negotiated sentence for 29-year-old Kelsey Nichole Turner were accepted in November, avoiding a trial. She recognized that second-degree murder in the death of 71-year-old psychiatrist Thomas Kirk Burchard of Salinas, California, might be shown by the prosecution.

Turner, a former model for the magazines Maxim and Playboy Italia, remained silent in court.

Her sentence came after her ex-boyfriend Jon Logan Kennison, 29, was given a jail term of 18 to 45 years in July. He admitted to conspiring and second-degree murder.

Turner allegedly had “an intimate connection” with Burchard, according to police and prosecutors, and Burchard was responsible for paying the rent on the Las Vegas property where Turner and Kennison shared a residence with Diana Nicole Pena.

When Burchard went missing, his longtime Salinas girlfriend Judy Earp reported him missing. According to the police, Turner, Kennison, and Pena appeared to have quickly left the house after Burchard was dead.

The Clark County coroner determined that Burchard was killed by being struck in the head with an unknown instrument, leaving what the police described as a distinctive pattern.

In addition, according to the police, they discovered a door that had been smashed in half, blood, cleaning products, and objects with Kennison’s name in a bedroom, as well as what seemed to be blood, footprints, and further cleaning goods in the garage. Police discovered blue and white bath towels that matched one found with Burchard’s body in Turner’s blue Mercedes Benz car.

Police said a baseball bat and Pena’s and Kennison’s fingerprints were recovered in the vehicle.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal said that Earp claimed Turner “lured” Burchard to Las Vegas in 2019 by claiming she was ill and couldn’t afford to care for her kid. In court on Tuesday, Earp accused Turner of forging Burchard’s signature and taking money from him.

In March 2019, according to police and prosecutors, Turner, Kennison, and Pena murdered Burchard and dumped his body in the trunk of Turner’s automobile. Between Las Vegas and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the car was discovered abandoned on a rural road.

In June 2019, Pena, a former bartender at a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip who is now 34, entered a plea of guilty to accessory to murder. She said that after Burchard was slain, she assisted in cleaning the crime scene before leaving Las Vegas with Kennison and Turner.

Later, Kennison was detained in Las Vegas, while Turner was detained in Salinas.

According to the Review-Journal, Turner and his public defender Ashley Sisolak told Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny that they thought the plea bargain was the best way to end the case.

Credits: FOX RENO

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