Where Is Killer Kelsey Turner Now? – Dr. Thomas Burchard, a 71-year-old renowned child psychiatrist, was found brutally murdered, and officials were at a loss to explain who would have wanted to hurt such a charming man. Though they probed deeper, they unearthed a murkier aspect of his life, replete with rumors of extramarital affairs and sponsorship of younger women.
The ABC true crime program “20/20” episode titled “Kelsey Turner” explores the detectives’ efforts to uncover the social media influencer and former Playboy model who may have had a sinister role in Dr. Thomas’ tragic demise. Kelsey Turner, her boyfriend Jon Logan Kennison, and their housemate Diana Pea were the last three individuals to see Burchard alive. Let’s get started if you are interested in determining who Kelsey Turner was and where she is now.
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Who is Kelsey Turner? Why Did She Kill Dr. Thomas?
Kelsey Nichole Turner was born on 5 May 1993 in Norfolk, Virginia; however, she spent her formative years in Jonesboro, Arkansas. After earning her Arkansas State University degree, she entered the lingerie and swimwear modeling industry. After being highlighted in important publications, Kelsey soared in popularity. She also had tens of thousands of admirers and followers on Instagram and co-founded the Badd Barbie apparel business. According to reports, Kelsey had been married twice and had two young children when she met Dr. Thomas Burchard online.
The renowned child psychiatrist practiced at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and lived in Salinas with his lifelong companion Judy Earp. Kelley and her then-4-year-old son migrated to Las Vegas, Nevada, towards the end of 2018 after a lengthy stay in the same city. She was 25 years old and in a relationship with Jon Logan Kennison; she and her partner shared an apartment with her child, Diana Pena, and Jeremy Escherich. Judy recalls that Dr. Thomas was Kelsey’s “sugar daddy,” providing her with every material good imaginable and covering all of her expenses.
In addition to signing a lease on the model’s Salinas residence and paying rent for many months, the 71-year-old co-signed a loan for her luxury automobile. Judy and others commented on how “intimate” their relationship appeared to be, but Kelsey insisted that their interaction was platonic. The former was dissatisfied with her boyfriend’s friendship with the model and believed the 25-year-old was openly using his generosity. In addition, Judy revealed later that Kelsey allegedly extorted Dr. Thomas with baseless claims of his inappropriate behavior against minors.
Dr. Thomas feared reporting Kelsey to the authorities, so he complied with her every demand until he stopped paying her rent. As a result, she eventually moved to Las Vegas, but she never ceased reporting her spouse to the Child Psychiatrist as an abuser. Once Kelsey stated that she couldn’t care for her son, Dr. Thomas’ regret and compassion developed for her. Thus, on March 1, 2019, he traveled to Las Vegas to visit the model at her residence despite Judy’s repeated requests to stay away.
The following day, however, Kelsey’s roommate Jeremy’s girlfriend arrived at the apartment to meet Dr. Thomas, and an unexpected turn of events occurred. To the dismay of the 25-year-old model, who was initially annoyed by their acquaintance, they became fast friends. Kelsey accused Jeremy and his girlfriend of attempting to “take away” Dr. Thomas from her while they were eating dinner with Jeremy’s girlfriend. Kelsey was even more outraged that her donor, a 71-year-old man, had exchanged intimate photos of himself with her mother on his phone.
If the doctor did not pay her more compensation, she would contact the police. Dr. Thomas exacted vengeance by locking himself in a residence room and closing the door. In a fit of rage, Kelsey persuaded Jon to break down the door, and once inside, Jon whacked the 71-year-old man in the head with a baseball bat. Severely injured, Dr. Thomas insisted on being transported to the hospital and threatened to lie if he was not. Kelsey’s other roommate, Diana, and he waited in the car, but Kelsey and Jon came down and asked Jon to clean the house before they left.
Diana heard the commotion outside as Kelsey repeatedly yelled at her boyfriend, “Knock out Dr. Thomas!” She motivated Jon to murder the physician with a baseball bat. When Diana ran outside, she was scared to see Dr. Thomas dead in the car’s trunk and Jon holding a bloodied handgun. However, they instructed her to clean up after themselves and then abandoned Kelsey’s vehicle with the body on a dirt road near the highway.
The police later discovered the body of Dr. Thomas in the parked car, and the fugitives fled to California. The police began searching for Kelsey and her accomplices after hearing Judy’s statement and confirming that the victim’s blood was indeed found in her apartment. The 25-year-old model was captured by a fugitive task force in Stockton on March 21, 2019, whereas Diana turned herself into authorities in April. On April 17, however, everyone implicated in the death of Dr. Thomas Burchard, including Jon, was arrested.
Where is Kelsey Turner Today?
Turner will remain in state prison for quite some time. According to Clark County court records obtained by KTNV in November 2022, Turner accepted a plea bargain.
Turner entered the plea agreement while claiming her innocence but accepting the charge of second-degree murder. This is commonly referred to as an Alford plea.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal now reports that Turner was sentenced to ten to twenty-five years in prison on Tuesday, January 11, 2023. She has been condemned to do her time at a Nevada state-run institution.
Since this was Turner’s first offense, both parties agreed on the proper punishment.
As reported on the website, chief deputy special public defender Ashley Sisolak responded via email, “I strongly disagree with the state’s summary of the facts.” But I am relieved that Kelsey will now have a second opportunity to make something of her life. Everyone involved greatly values closure, and I share this sentiment.
Kennison will begin serving his 18-45 year state prison sentence in July 2022.
According to KLAS, the testimony of Turner and Kennison’s former roommate, Diana Pea, helped the prosecution immensely. In contrast, she admitted her involvement in a murder and accepted a guilty plea. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Pêna said in court that she helped clean up the crime scene before fleeing the state with the couple.
On Sunday, February 24th, ABC’s 20/20 will present viewers who may be unfamiliar with the case with a full description, including Diana Pea’s interpretation. Dr. Burchard’s long-term lover Judy Earp will also share information regarding Turner and the victim.
Friends of Turner, as well as Las Vegas Metro Police Department investigators Mitchell Dosch and Ryan Jaeger, will be interviewed exclusively for the two-hour program.
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