Family urges death penalty in murder case

Oct. 1, 2009 at 12:54 PM
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INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The 31-year-old man accused of killing seven family members in Indianapolis in 2006 should face the death penalty despite a pretrial deal, survivors say.

Janie Covarrubias, whose father Alberto was one of the victims, is among several family members who want prosecutors to seek the death penalty for Desmond Turner once his trial begins Oct. 12.

"I don't see any reason why he should be allowed to live," Covarrubias said. "I've been told it's hell for him to be sitting in a cell eight hours a day. Well, it's been hell for me the past three years, not having my father and my two younger brothers."

Alberto Covarrubias, 56, was killed in an Indianapolis home along with Emma Valdez, 46, their two young sons, and Valdez's adult son, daughter and 5-year-old grandson.

Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has announced he will seek a life prison sentence for Turner if convicted on murder and robbery charges. The Star said in return for avoiding a possible death sentence, Turner waived his right to a jury trial.

Turner's co-defendant, James Stewart, 33, will also not face the death penalty once his separate trial begins Dec. 7.

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