Michael Turney Wiki – Michael Turney Bio
Michael Turney, Turney’s defense attorneys argued that the state did not present any physical evidence that Alissa Turney is dead or that their client caused her death.
Earlier this month, nearly three years after his arrest, 75-year-old Michael Roy Turney went on trial for second-degree murder in Phoenix. Arizona. He was charged in connection to his 17-year-old stepdaughter Alissa Turney’s 2001 disappearance.
After opening arguments on July 6, Sarah Turney — Alissa’s half-sister and Michael Turney’s biological daughter — took the stand.
Her emotional testimony of her included the ways in which she said she had seen their father de ella criticize Alissa. On the second day of her testimony de ella, Sarah Turney said that when she asked her father de ella what had happened to Alissa, he told her that he would tell her de ella on his deathbed de ella.
Alissa Turney was last seen more than two decades ago on the last day of her junior year at Paradise Valley High School — May 17, 2001.
Michael Turney is 75 years old.
All Charges Dismissed With Stepdaughter Alissa Turney
Michael Turney would tell authorities that he and Alissa had argued that day about how she wanted more freedom.
He said she was angry and went to her room from her. Michael Turney said he returned home later that evening and Alissa was gone. All that was left behind was a note that said she was running away to California.
Police at the time determined that there was no foul play in Alissa’s disappearance of her and believed she was a runaway.
Nearly a decade later, the Phoenix Police Department Missing Persons Unit reopened the case and concluded foul play had occurred in the case.
“At the time, there were no signs of foul play or exigency based on the fact Alissa was 17 years old and had no mental/physical health issues,” Sergeant Maggie Cox told Dateline in 2020. “Alissa was entered into NCIC as soon as the report was taken. In 2008, the Missing Persons Unit Detectives began to investigate further information obtained in the case.”
After speaking to several people, officials focused their investigation on Alissa’s stepfather, Michael Turney. They executed search warrants at the Turney house. They found video footage spanning decades, as well as surveillance footage from around the house. There were no tapes from the day Alissa was last seen.
In 2019, Sarah Turney decided to start a podcast called “Voices for Justice,” hoping to get more attention for her sister Alissa ’s story about her.
In June of 2020, Dateline spoke with Sarah Turney, who said that she was dedicated not just to finding answers, but to getting justice for Alissa. “She deserves her day in court,” she said. “And I’m determined to give her that.”
Alissa got that day in court in July of 2023. It just wasn’t the outcome that her sister Sarah had hoped for.
Jurors in that Phoenix courtroom heard five days of testimony from witnesses in the state’s case — including two Phoenix Police Department detectives, Stuart Somershoe and William Andersen, and Alissa ‘s boyfriend of hers at the time of her disappearance, Jonathan Laakman .
The state rested their case on the sixth day of the trial — Monday, July 17 — after two days of testimony from Det. William Anderson. At that time Michael Turney’s defense attorneys, Jamie A. Jackson and Olivia Hicks, submitted a motion to the judge for an acquittal, citing Rule 20 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal procedure, which states that “the court must enter a judgment of acquittal… if there is no substantial evidence to support a conviction.”
Defense attorney Olivia Hicks argued that the state did not present any physical evidence that Alissa Turney is dead and their client caused her death. In response to the defense’s motion, Deputy County Attorney Vince Imbordino told the judge that Alissa Turney had been a 17-year-old girl with family and friends, prized possessions and she would have been in contact if she had been alive.
Judge Sam Myers Ruled in Favor of the Defense and the Jurors
Judge Sam Myers ruled in favor of the defense and the jurors were relieved of their duty. All charges in the case against Michael Turney have been dismissed and he is expected to be released in the coming days.
After the dismissal, one of the defense attorneys conveyed a statement from Turney to the media. “He is happy that the judge saw it his way from him. He’s excited that he’ll be able to get out of custody,” Jamie Jackson said. “He is obviously still very concerned about the case and Alissa and trying to find who actually killed her.”
Jackson added that his client may give additional statements at some point, but there would be nothing further released at this time.
Following the judge’s decision, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell released a statement on the acquittal. “For more than 20 years, [Alissa ’s] family de ella fought for justice and their perseverance de ella is a testament to the love they had for Alissa,” she said. “I am proud of the hard work by prosecutors and law enforcement on this case. While our office doesn’t agree with the Judge’s ruling today, we respect the decision of the court.”