A jury convicted Shawn Wood of murder and all other counts in the December 2011 shooting death of church choir director Corey Turner.
The Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury announced its decision to Judge Frances E. McGee after deliberations ended shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday. The jury of nine women and three men began deliberating at about 1 p.m. after hearing closing arguments and jury instructions.
Dan Brandt, asssistant prosecutor, said the prosecutors were pleased with the verdict and glad that “justice was served.”
“It’s been a long time coming for the family of Corey Turner,” Brandt said. “Over three years have gone by and they’ve been waiting that long for justice in this case.”
McGee set Wood’s sentencing for Feb. 25.
Prosecutors told the jury during closing arguments that “it doesn’t take much to connect the dots” from circumstantial evidence to pin the death of Turner on Wood. Turner, 39, also a substitute teacher, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in his Harrison Twp. apartment.
Wood’s attorney told the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury that the prosecutor “is asking you to make inferences” and that “there is no credible evidence” to show that Wood killed Turner.
Wood was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of felonious assault, three counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon and one count of grand theft of a motor vehicle.
Wood, 32, was arrested three months after News Center 7’s Miami Valley Murder Mysteries spotlighted Turner’s story. Turner’s case was one of four cold cases profiled on the Sept. 13, 2012, television special.
Turner, the choir director at Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church for 12 years, had been in final rehearsals for a Christmas concert. Investigators found Turner’s body inside his apartment, 381 Forest Park Drive, Apt. B, in Harrison Twp. Authorities couldn’t locate Wood for a year after Turner’s slaying.
During the nearly two-week trial, the jury heard testimony from more than 30 witnesses as prosecutors sought to tie Wood to the murder through circumstantial evidence, Wood’s DNA in Turner’s car and Wood’s purported incriminating statements.
Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Ward Barrentine told jurors that Wood stole Turner’s credit cards and car and had another individual use the cards to buy Christmas presents for Wood’s children.
Barrentine also recapped all the evidence which he said put Wood in the area of Turner’s apartment before and after the murder, which did not include fingerprints, DNA in Turner’s apartment or a revolver that prosecutors said was used in the murder.
Defense attorney Jeremiah Denslow told the jury during closing arguments that “there’s no credible evidence” to connect Wood to Turner beyond the phone calls, credit cards and automobile, calling all the state’s witnesses testifying about credit card receipts “window dressing” to make the prosecutor’s case appear stronger than it was.
“If you are not sure what happened,” Denslow said. “It must be not guilty.”
Assistant prosecutor Daniel Brandt told the jury not to go down detours regarding a lack of fingerprints or DNA: “This man shot Corey Turner in the back of the head before he had a chance to fight back.”