Prosecutors say Melinda “Mindy” Turner is the one who stabbed her fiancé to death in 2010, but her trial began Monday with a defense attorney saying the police made “a rush to judgment” and charged the wrong person with murder.
Turner, 41, is accused of stabbing Maxwell Pomeroy Jr., 26. If convicted of murder, Turner faces 20 years to life in prison.
On Aug. 9, 2010, Georgetown police found Pomeroy stabbed twice and lying face up on the kitchen floor of the Washington Street house he shared with Turner.
A 6 1/2-inch stab wound in Pomeroy’s lower left chest had penetrated his heart, testified Dr. John Hunsaker III, the associate chief medical examiner who performed the autopsy. Pomeroy died of blood loss and damage to the heart, said Hunsaker, who retired in November.
Another stab wound on his back caused a superficial wound on Pomeroy’s right shoulder blade.
In his opening statement to the jury, prosecutor John Hayne said, “We’re confident you’ll return a verdict of guilty” against Turner.
Turner told police that three intruders broke into the house and stabbed Pomeroy to death. But Hayne, an assistant Fayette County attorney who is helping Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Keith Eardley, said a neighbor will testify that he saw no one enter or leave the couple’s house.
In addition, the blood around Pomeroy’s body had begun to dry and congeal and indicates that he might have been dead longer than Turner told police, Hayne said.
But in his opening statement, public defender Doug Crickmer said “There is no concrete evidence that Mindy committed this murder. ...They have no forensic evidence whatsoever that Mindy is guilty.”
Police found no murder weapon; Crickmer suggested that’s because an intruder took it from the scene.
Turner “did everything she could to cooperate with police,” Crickmer said, “but in their minds, Mindy was guilty.”
“They made a rush to judgment,” he added.
Gina Jones, the fourth witness for the prosecution, testified that Turner and Pomeroy had fought two days before his death.
Jones lived across the street from the couple. She came home from work on the night of Aug. 7, 2010, to find the couple in the yard of the house where Jones lived with her mother.
Pomeroy told Jones that Turner was chasing him with a butter knife. “They seemed very aggravated with each other,” Jones said.
A jury of nine men and five women was selected Monday to hear the case in Scott Circuit Court. Two of the 14 will be dismissed before the panel begins deliberations. The trial is expected to conclude Friday.
Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday with Judge Paul Isaacs presiding.