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Former Playboy Model Enters Alford Plea In Beating Death Of 71-Year-Old Psychiatrist She Had Been Romantically Linked To

California psychiatrist Thomas Burchard had traveled to Las Vegas to cut Kelsey Turner off financially when he was beaten to death by Turner and her boyfriend, authorities alleged.

By Jill Sederstrom
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

Former Playboy model Kelsey Turner has pleaded guilty to killing a 71-year-old psychiatrist who was found dead in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle—but continues to maintain her innocence.

Turner entered an Alford plea, which allows her to maintain her innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her of second-degree murder in the case, according to KVVU-TV.

As part of the plea deal, she will face between 10 to 25 years in prison.

Turner and her boyfriend, Jon “Logan” Kennison, were accused of beating 71-year-old psychiatrist Thomas Burchard to death with a baseball bat in 2019, KTNV reports.

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Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said Burchard's body was found on March 7, 2019 in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle along State Route 147.

Burchard and Turner had been involved in a romantic relationship and he had been paying the rent for her Las Vegas apartment, according to an arrest warrant obtained by People.

A police handout of Kelsey Turner

Authorities said he had planned to end their relationship and traveled to Las Vegas to cut her off financially at the time of his death.

Kennison already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced earlier this year to between 18 and 45 years behind bars.

Kennison’s attorneys argued in court documents that he “stood no chance” after he met Turner, who they called a “master manipulator,” according to earlier reporting from The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Logan’s error in judgment was becoming entangled with a master manipulator he could not rebuff,” they wrote in the documents. “He was also in love with her. Logan’s violence, thus, was a crime of passion. Turner’s frenzy fueled him. Her frenzy and calls for bloodlust sealed Dr. Burchard’s unjustified fate.”

Kennison and Turner’s roommate Diana Pena also pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the murder.

Pena testified that Turner encouraged Kennison to “knock Thomas out” with the bat.

Burchard’s longtime girlfriend Judy Earp told KVVU-TV after the former model’s plea on Wednesday that she believes that Turner is responsible for the death.

“I believe 100% she is guilty,” she said. “My analogy of the whole thing is Kennison may have been the gun, but she pulled the trigger.”

She told the news outlet she doesn’t believe the lower end of the sentence laid out in the plea deal would provide justice in the case.  

“I don’t think it is going to reform her at all,” she said. “I don’t think she’s reformable.”

Turner previously modeled in both Playboy and Maxim.

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