Woman accused of killing California psychiatrist reaches plea deal

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 2:41 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The former model accused of killing a California psychiatrist has reached a plea deal, according to court records.

Kelsey Turner pleaded guilty to second degree murder via an Alford plea on Nov. 9, court records show. An Alford plea is when a suspect doesn’t admit to guilt but concedes that there is enough evidence to convict. She will face 10 to 25 years in prison.

Turner and Jon Kennison were accused of killing 71-year-old Dr. Thomas Burchard in 2019. According to an arrest report, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police were called to a suspicious vehicle near Lake Mead at about 9:30 a.m. on March 7, 2019. Burchard’s body was found in the trunk of the vehicle.

Burchard’s longtime girlfriend Judy Earp reported Burchard missing in early March. Burchard told her he had to take care of a few things in Las Vegas and the girlfriend said Burchard flew to Las Vegas to visit Kelsey Turner. Burchard reportedly paid for Turner’s rent in Salinas, Calif. before she moved to Las Vegas.

Turner was arrested about two weeks later in California and charged with Burchard’s murder. Kennison and Diana Pena were taken into custody in connection with the case as well.

“I believe 100% she is guilty. My analogy of the whole thing is Kennison may have been the gun, but she pulled the trigger,” Earp told FOX5.

In June 2019, Pena pleaded guilty to accessory to commit murder. Kennison pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced 18-45 years in prison in July 2022.

Earp believes the plea deal is not enough of a penalty for Turner, if she ends up only serving 10 years.

“She’s been there for three and and a half, and she’ll get credit for that another six years. I don’t think it is going to reform her at all. I don’t think she’s reformable,” Earp said.

Turner’s sentencing is set for Jan. 10, 2023. Earp said she plans on attending.