HAWTHORNE – A Sanger couple was killed in Southern California late last week by a man police say posed as a utility repairman to get inside the house they were staying in.
Leamon Turnage, 69, and Robyn Turnage, 57, were staying at a relative’s home in Hawthorne last week after coming back from a trip to Florida to meet their new grandchild for the first time. When relatives tried to reach the Turnages and couldn’t, they called the police last Friday.
“The Turnages were found bound, gagged, beaten and strangled inside the residence,” said Lt. Dave Coleman with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives said that the house, which is owned by Leamon Turnage’s mother who now lives in a convalescent home, was ransacked. The couple may have been murdered so that there would be no witnesses to the robbery, detectives said.
Detectives arrested ex-convict John Ewell, 53, of Los Angeles on Saturday in connection with the murders. Ewell had been captured on video trying to use the Turnages’ stolen ATM cards at a gas station.
On Tuesday, Ewell was charged with robbery and murder with special circumstances, which makes him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.