The family of a bank executive found beaten to death in her Reseda home is calling on Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón to file special a circumstances murder charge against the suspect in the crime.
Anthony Duwayne Turner, 52, of Westchester, faces murder and first-degree robbery charges in the killing of 48-year-old Michelle Avan, but her family says the DA’s office did not add the additional charge, making him ineligible for a harsher sentence if he is convicted.
Turner was described as Avan’s ex-boyfriend and colleague who the family believed was a “stand-up guy,” according to a statement from the family’s spokesperson.
“In contrast (her son) found his mother’s lifeless body beaten and left alone by a man who is a murderer, and the family does not want the photos of Anthony Duwayne Turner in a suit and tie perceived to be a stand-up guy to paint a different picture,” the statement read, referring to a photo of the suspect circulated in media reports.
Turner allegedly entered his former partner’s home in the 19300 block of Covello Street on Aug. 3 and killed her before leaving the next day.
Her son eventually discovered her body.
“In this case, in this instance, Anthony Turner could get as little as five years, which is completely unacceptable for what I saw,” Avan’s son, Trevon, said during a news conference, his voice breaking. “My mom didn’t deserve this, and nobody deserves this. And we want to make sure that if anybody has to go through this, that George Gascón does the right thing and files the murder with special circumstances, giving Anthony Turner life without parole.”
Turner has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but is expected to return to court Monday.
Avan’s family, meanwhile, hopes to meet with Gascón to discuss adding the additional charge before then.