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Alissa Turney
By LARREN SMITH 1,235 views

Stepfather of Alissa Turney Acquitted in Arizona Trial

In a recent court decision, an Arizona man, Michael Turney, accused of the murder of his 17-year-old stepdaughter, Alissa Turney, has been declared not guilty in July 2023. The judge ruled that the evidence provided was not enough to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The verdict, announced in the Maricopa County court, came as a relief to Michael Turney, 75, while leaving Alissa’s grieving family members shocked and in tears.

The trial lasted only a week, with the jury hearing testimony related to the second-degree murder charges against Turney. Alissa’s disappearance dates back to May 2001 when she supposedly left a note stating her intention to run away to California. Tragically, she has never been found, leaving her family desperate for answers and closure. However, the lack of conclusive evidence, in this case, led to the judge’s decision to acquit Michael Turney of the charges brought against him.

Lawyers’ Arguments and Counter Offense

During the trial, lawyers argued that Michael Turney and his stepdaughter, Alissa Turney, had a troubled relationship. They said that Turney had many videos of Alissa to control her. However, the defense disagreed and said that there is no proof that Alissa Turney is no longer alive. After the prosecution finished presenting their evidence, the judge agreed with the defense and decided to drop the murder charges against Turney.

The judge used a rule called Rule 20, which lets the court make an acquittal if there is not enough valid evidence for a conviction. Alissa’s half-sister and Turney’s daughter, Sarah Turney, played an important role as a witness during the trial. Sarah’s efforts on social media helped to get Turney arrested in 2020. However, Sarah left the courthouse without talking to the reporters.

Defense Calls for Acquittal

On Monday 17th July, during the trial, the defense asked the judge to declare the defendant not guilty. They argued that there was not enough evidence to prove the accusations against him. The defense said that there were signs suggesting that Alissa Turney might have chosen to leave on her own and there is no clear evidence that she is no longer alive.

The last time anyone saw Alissa was on May 17, 2001, when she was at her home in Phoenix. On the final day of her junior year at Paradise Valley High School, Alissa Turney informed her boyfriend that her stepfather would be collecting her for lunch. Subsequently, Michael Turney, Alissa’s stepfather, reported her missing. According to him, she had left a note indicating that she had run away to California. In 2008, investigators talked to witnesses again and searched Michael Turney’s home.

During the search, they found more than 20 pipe bombs that were not registered to Turney. He was charged with these crimes and went to prison. He was released in 2017. During the trial, Alissa’s sister, Sarah, spoke against her own father last week. She is very active on social media and has a podcast called ‘Voices for Justice’ where she talks about the case. Sarah told the court about how her father manipulated her into thinking that Alissa Turney was a rebellious teenager who chose to run away to California.

Sarah’s Quest for Answers Uncovers Troubling Revelations

Sarah, who is Alissa’s sister, started to have doubts about the stories their father was telling about what happened to Alissa Turney. When she confronted him in 2017, he refused to explain and said he would only tell the truth when he was dying. He even suggested that he would confess everything if he was given a deadly injection soon. During the trial, Sarah shared that her father and Alissa had a troubled relationship. She played a recorded phone call where her father spoke badly about Alissa to someone named Michael Seth.

The defense in the trial argued that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the allegations against their client. They said that there were reasons to believe that Alissa may have chosen to run away and that there is no definite evidence of her death. Sarah, who is very active on social media and has a podcast called ‘Voices for Justice,’ testified against her father in the trial. She explained how he manipulated her into thinking Alissa ran away on her own.

But they couldn’t find any videos from the day Alissa Turney went missing among the tapes they found in 2008. During the trial, it was revealed that Turney secretly filmed Alissa at home and had hundreds of videos of her. The prosecution also said he tapped her phone and made her sign a contract saying he didn’t sexually assault her. The jury heard testimonies from John Turney, Alissa’s half-brother, and James Turney, her stepbrother.

But the judge didn’t allow James to talk about an incident where Alissa told him about Turney’s inappropriate behavior. The defense argued that there was no DNA or blood evidence proving Turney’s guilt in Alissa’s disappearance. They also pointed out that without her body, there is no definite proof that Alissa is dead.

A Determined Sister’s Fight for Justice

Sarah started her own podcast called ‘Voices for Justice’ in 2019. She wanted to share the story of their family, what happened leading up to Alissa’s disappearance, and a timeline of events since then. In May 2020, Sarah began making videos on TikTok about Alissa’s case. Surprisingly, many people became interested in her sister’s story through this platform.

Sarah said in an interview with NBC that she couldn’t believe it, but the response and interest she had received on TikTok in the past month was more than what she had gotten in the past 10 years. She further expressed that the case was now acquiring more attention, and she was determined to maintain it that way. For Sarah, Alissa is still her strong older sister who taught her the value of strength.

She mentioned that she needed to remain strong and utilize that strength to advocate for the justice Alissa deserved. She emphasized that Alissa Turney deserved a fair day in court, and she was fully dedicated to ensuring that it occurred.

Bottom Line

In a recent Arizona trial, Michael Turney, the stepfather of Alissa Turney, has been acquitted of the murder charges against him due to insufficient evidence. The verdict, announced in July 2023, left Alissa’s grieving family members shocked and in tears. Alissa’s sister, Sarah Turney, remains determined to fight for justice and ensure that her sister receives a fair day in court.

larren SMith

Passionate blogger | Showcasing skills & experience ✍️ | Captivating content creator 💡 | Sharing insights and inspiration 🌟 | #Blogging #ContentCreator

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