Friday, February 8, 2013

IN LOVING MEMORY OF TWO OF EDWIN HART TURNER’S VICTIMS (EDWIN HART TURNER WAS EXECUTED IN MISSISSIPPI ON 8 FEBRUARY 2012)



            On this date, 8 February 2012, Edwin Hart Turner was executed by lethal injection in Mississippi, USA. He was executed for the murders of two African American men, Everett Curry and Eddie Brooks on 12 December 1995. I am grateful that Roy Curry had justice served after his brother, Everett Curry was killed.


Roy Curry
Summary: Turner and Paul Stewart had been drinking beer and smoking marijuana while joy riding in Stewart's car when they decided to rob some Carroll County convenience stores. They first drove to Mims Truck Stop, but left it after finding it was too crowded. Their next stop was Mims Turkey Village Truck Stop, about four miles down the road. The two entered the store carrying rifles and wearing masks. Turner shot the store clerk, Eddie Brooks, in the chest. Turner and Stewart tried to open the cash register by force and by shooting it. Then Turner shot Brooks in the head from only inches away. The two then went back to Mims Truck Stop, and while Stewart went inside the store, Turner robbed Curry, who was pumping gas outside. He shot Curry in the head. Stewart proceeded to rob the store, and Turner came in, pointing his gun at the people in the store. Stewart testified he told Turner since he had the money, there was no need to kill anyone else. The next day, police found the weapons used in the murders inside Turner's home, and the masks used during the robberies in the back of Turner's car. Stewart confessed to police, pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder, and later testified against Turner. Turner tried to commit suicide when he was 18 by putting a rifle in his mouth and pulling the trigger. His face was left severely disfigured. 


Edwin Hart Turner
CASE: On December 12, 1995, Edwin Hart Turner and another individual, Paul Stewart, were drinking beer and smoking marijuana while driving around in Stewart’s car. Eventually, Turner and Stewart decided to rob convenience stores in Carroll County, Mississippi. They first drove to Mims Truck Stop, but left after finding it too crowded. They then drove to Mims Turkey Village Truck Stop, about four miles away. At around 2:00 a.m. on December 13th, the two entered the store wearing masks and carrying rifles. Turner shot the store clerk in the chest. Turner and Stewart then tried to open the cash register, and at one point, both men shot at the register. After their unsuccessful attempts to open the register, Turner placed the barrel of his rifle inches from the store clerk’s head and shot him. Turner and Stewart then drove back to Mims Truck Stop. While Stewart went inside the store, Turner approached Everett Curry, who was pumping gas outside. Turner ordered Curry to the ground, robbed him, and shot him in the head. Meanwhile, inside the store, Stewart grabbed some of the store’s cash. Turner then came into the store and pointed his gun at the people inside. Stewart testified at trial that he told Turner there was no need to kill anyone else because Stewart already had the money from the cash register. The pair left the store and returned to Turner’s home where they reportedly split up the $400 in cash from the robberies, ate a shrimp dinner and cinnamon rolls and went to bed. The next morning, they awoke as police officers arrived at Turner’s home and found the two guns used in the crimes inside. They also found the hockey mask Stewart used during the robberies in the backseat of Turner’s car. After the two were arrested, Stewart gave a full confession and pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder. As part of his plea, Stewart agreed to testify against Turner. The jury ultimately found Turner guilty of two counts of capital murder while engaged in an armed robbery and imposed the death penalty. UPDATE: Edwin Turner was executed after a stay was lifted and the Governor refused to intervene. Turner had no final words before his execution and did not discuss his crimes. A sister and a cousin of Eddie Brooks witnessed the execution as did a brother of Everett Curry, Roy Curry, who said afterwards that his pain has not diminished. "This evening, after 16 years, we feel that justice, although delayed, has finally been served for the horrendous crime done to our family. This awful person brutally murdered a beloved husband, father and brother. The hurt and pain are just as real to us now as on that day 16 years ago. One of the perpetrators of this evil act recently sought a pardon from the outgoing governor, yet Everett was robbed of the possibility of ever requesting a pardon for his life," Roy Curry said. "May God have mercy on their souls. I don't think we'll ever have complete closure because a void will always exist in our hearts. At least we'll have some consolation in knowing the person who committed this cowardly and senseless act is finally gone. We pray that God would give us the faith and courage and strength to move on with our lives."   

The sister and a cousin of victim Eddie Brooks watched the execution. The brother and son of his other victim, Everett Curry, also witnessed it. 

One of Curry’s other brothers read a statement for the family afterward.

“I don’t think we will ever have complete closure because a void will always exist in our hearts,” said Roy Curry, who did not watch the execution. “At least we will have some consolation in knowing that the person who committed this cowardly and senseless act is finally gone.”

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