Feb. 20, 2014
Wanda Turner, the woman convicted of killing a Charlottesville man in March 2012, is sentenced to 18 years and six months.
While in court on Thursday, Turner stood up and explained that she takes full responsibility for her actions and is praying for the victim's family.
In November, a jury found Turner guilty of second degree murder, larceny, credit card theft and fraud.
Prosecutors sought a first-degree murder charge for Turner, but the jury found Turner guilty of a lesser charge of second-degree murder in the death of Robert "Eddie" Snead Jr.
Prosecutors say Turner stabbed Snead more than 25 times, and hit him with a blunt object 26 times and that this was an act of extreme violence.
“Nothing about the defendant’s condition suggested that this was self-defense,” says Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Elizabeth Killeen. “Mr Snead was essentially bludgeoned to death in his home.”
Turner's lawyers had claimed she acted out of self-defense and also believe her sentence would have been shorter if she was a white woman and if Snead was a black man.
“The justice system still suffers from inequalities,” says Dean L’Hospital, defense attorney for Turner. “You see around the country that there is a different standard for what the presumption of innocence means if you are a white person, a black person, a woman or a man.”
“I think it's hard to deny it either looking around or objectively.”
Turner was convicted of second-degree murder and will serve 17 years for that charge as well as another year and a half for charges including credit card theft, credit card forgery and attempted credit card fraud.