After a five day trial, it took a Charlottesville jury only six hours Saturday to convict 49-year-old Wanda Turner of second degree murder.
Less than two hours later, the jury recommended Turner spend 18 years and six months behind bars for the death of Robert Snead and six other convictions related to her using Snead's credit cards.
Snead was found dead in his home in March 2012 after being struck with sharp and blunt objects 54 times. Turner claimed Snead attacked her first and she killed him in self-defense.
“We were hoping for voluntary manslaughter,” said Dean Lhospital, Turner’s attorney. “The jury came back with second degree, it was obviously better than a first degree conviction.”
Turner wept openly in court as the verdict was read. At the sentencing stage, she told the jury, "I am sorry, I am just so sorry".
Turner explained she had rehabilitated herself while awaiting trial, but on cross examination the jury learned Turner was convicted of seven prior felonies, including unlawful wounding, grand larceny and possession of cocaine.
“The sentence that she got will allow her to live her life knowing that there is a reasonable possibility that someday she will see the people she loves and not talk to them through glass,” said Lhospital.
The Commonwealth and Turner’s defense confirm she turned down an offer for a plea agreement which would have given her one and a half years more jail time than the jury recommended Saturday.
A judge will make a final decision on Turner’s sentence February 20.
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