A former Playboy model has been sentenced to prison after a well-known psychiatrist was found dead in her trunk.
Kelsey Turner was sentenced to 10 to 25 years behind bars Tuesday for the 2019 murder of renowned child psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Burchard. The 29-year-old entered an Alford plea agreement back in November, according to Law&Crime. An Alford plea allows criminal defendants to maintain their innocence but accept that if brought to trial, the judge and jury would likely find them guilty. For Turner, it was part of an agreement with the state that would guarantee her parole eligibility after 10 years.
The model may not have been willing to admit to the killing, but others involved already have.
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According to Clark County prosecutors, Turner and her then-boyfriend, Jon Kennison, beat the 71-year-old doctor to death and left him in the trunk of her Mercedes-Benz C300, which they abandoned in the middle of the Nevada desert near Lake Mead in March of 2019. Kennison previously pleaded guilty — that’s full-on guilty, not Alford — and was sentenced to 18 to 45 years in prison.
A former roommate of the two, Diana Nicole Pena, was previously charged with murder as well; she pleaded guilty to one count of accessory to murder back in June of 2019. While she claimed she had no involvement in the actual act of murder, she gave authorities plenty of details. She said the altercation stemmed from Turner being “upset about photos and messages on the doctor’s phone,” according to NBC News affiliate KSNV. She claimed to have seen Kennison approach the late doctor with a bat, with Turner egging on the violence. She then saw Kennison wrestling the victim, and she says she was later asked to help clean up the scene of the crime.
How did all this get started??
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Dr. Burchard had a relationship with Turner in which he paid rent at a Salinas, California home for the former Maxim model and her mother. He eventually discontinued his support, but then the aid started up again — only this time he was paying the rent at the Las Vegas residence where Kelsey lived with her boyfriend and Pena.
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Back in April 2019, Dr. Burchard’s longtime girlfriend, Judy Earp, told ABC News affiliate, KNTV, the psychiatrist spent upwards of $300,000 on the model over the course of several years, and described Turner with the words “as evil as Charles Manson.” Whoa. She explained:
“The last conversation I had with him, he had to go to Las Vegas to check things out because she was a compulsive liar.”
Earp initially reported Dr. Burchard as missing after he failed to make it home from the trip. Separately, a man driving on Silver State Route 147 reported an abandoned vehicle which had a rock thrown through one of its windows. That car turned out to be Turner’s — and Burchard’s body was found in the trunk.
Earp later told The Californian Burchard was “always helping people.” She added:
“Anybody with a sad story, you know. Some people took advantage of that.”
Just a sad story? That’s why he was giving this model tens of thousands in rent? Hmm… Kinda feels like there’s more to this story than we’ll ever find out.
See more on the case (below):
[Images via Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department & KION News Channel 46/YouTube]