Suspect in Indianapolis Murders Surrenders
ASHLEY M. HEHER
Jun. 04, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A two-day manhunt for an ex-convict suspected of gunning down seven members of one family ended with the man walking into a fast-food restaurant and surrendering to police.
Desmond Turner was being held without bail Sunday and authorities said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the crime.
Turner, 28, was surrounded by his own family members when he turned himself in Saturday and had little to say.
``He couldn't look at anybody,'' Deputy Police Chief Tim Foley said. ``He had his head down. He was sullen.''
His arrest capped an intense search for suspects in the city's worst mass murder in at least 25 years. Police said they issued at least six search warrants after Thursday's shootings and shot tear gas into two homes as more than 100 officers combed the city's east side looking for Turner.
``It's my judgment that Mr. Turner had nowhere to go,'' Foley said. ``He didn't turn himself in out of remorse. He turned himself in because he had no place to go.''
Turner was in jail Sunday on seven charges of murder and one charge of robbery, and jail records indicated he also faced a possible parole violation. An initial court date was not immediately set.
Another suspect, 30-year-old James Stewart, was arrested Friday after a traffic stop. He was being held on a preliminary charge of murder, police said.
Turner's arrest apparently ended the manhunt. ``We don't have any information to support any other suspects,'' police Maj. Lloyd Crowe said Sunday.
Nearly 30 shell casings from an assault rifle were found at the home. Authorities also confiscated a weapon.
``We got several pieces of evidence that will be forensically powerful,'' Foley said.
The victims were identified as Emma Valdez, 46; her husband, Alberto Covarrubias, 56; their sons Alberto Covarrubias, 11, and David Covarrubias, 8 or 9; Valdez's daughter, Flora Albarran, 22; Albarran's 5-year-old son, Luis; and Albarran's brother Magno Albarran, 29.
For Maria Flores, Valdez's sister, Turner's arrest was a relief.
``I forgive him for what he did,'' she said. ``I just feel sorry for him because he made a wrong decision. I just hope God forgives him for what he did.''
Turner grew up in the neighborhood where the shootings occurred and had returned last fall after being released from prison following a 3 1/2-year term for drug and weapons charges.
Police said they believe the suspects targeted the home after hearing exaggerated accounts of money and other valuables inside. They described those accounts as ``fiction,'' but declined to elaborate.
Valdez and Alberto Covarrubias, who reportedly worked as a maintenance man at an apartment complex, owned seven properties in the neighborhood.
``From day one we were under the impression it was a robbery, and that's what we still believe,'' Foley said.
Adults and children, many in tears, streamed through nearby Thomas D. Gregg Elementary, where David and Alberto had attended classes, to speak with grief counselors Saturday.
Neighbors, friends and others left flowers, ribbons, candles, dozens of stuffed animals along a sidewalk in front of the home. Cars drove by slowly while people knelt to pray. A memorial service was to be held in front of the home Sunday evening.
``God shall bring justice to them, celebrate the way they lived, not the way they left us,'' read one note left atop seven red roses at the modest tan house. ``A good family is gone, but not forgotten. Shall they all rest in peace.''