Sentenced to 82 years in prison for the 1995 murder of college student Jennifer Evans, former Navy SEAL trainee Dustin Turner may finally have his conviction overturned now that another man has confessed that he alone committed the crime.
Turner, who has spent the last sixteen years in prison, has asked the Virginia Supreme Court to consider his request for a writ of actual innocence. Turner’s co-defendant, Billy Joe Brown, stated that Turner was not involved in Evans’ death and the Virginia Beach Circuit Court found that Brown’s confession is credible, leading an appeals court to rule that Turner should be freed. However, the State Court of Appeals overturned this ruling, so Turner and his counsel have taken his claim to the State Supreme Court. The Court will reach a decision in the next few months.
If Turner’s appeal is successful, his will be the first murder conviction overturned under a 2004 law that allows consideration of new nonbiological evidence of innocence after sentencing.