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Nineteen-year-old Chelsi Griffin first met Alex Turner in February 2015 while working as a bartender in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Just two and a half weeks later, Turner, 23 at the time, had convinced her that he was an assassin for the Department of Defense and she needed to help him cover up his parents’ murder.
Griffin is a driven, devoutly religious woman, as seen in this week’s episode of “Killer Couples.” A crucifix dangles from her neck. A Bible verse — “Walk by faith, not by sight” — is tattooed across her collarbone. She was a star soccer player growing up, and in 2014, she transferred to Coastal Carolina University in hopes of playing for a Division I team.
She didn’t make the cut, however. So, to pay for tuition, she began serving drinks at a nearby strip club. It was here that she met Turner, who was drinking at the bar.
“He was smart, he was kind,” Griffin told “Killer Couples” producers. “When you looked at him, you saw adventure.”
They quickly hit it off. Before long, she’d given him her number and was having him over at her apartment.
Then, one night, Turner decided to “open up” to Griffin about his line of work. He told her that he’d joined the army after high school and had been recruited by the Special Forces. Then, he claimed, he took a contract as an assassin for the Department of Defense — but because of traumatic experiences he’d faced overseas, he was trying to find a way out of that life.
“She had bought into this idea from her new boyfriend that he was a Jason Bourne-type character,” Myrtle Beach detective Allen Amick told “Killer Couples” producers.
Horrified, Griffin promised Turner she would do everything she could to help him escape.
On March 6, 2015, the bodies of Turner’s parents, Carrie Daley Turner and Steven Gray Turner, were discovered under a mattress at a hotel in Myrtle Beach, according to the Charlotte Observer. They had been shot to death.
That weekend, investigators used security footage to track down Turner and Griffin as the only likely suspects. On March 9, 2015, they were arrested for murder.
Griffin was extremely defensive around the police, Myrtle Beach detective Allen Amick told producers. She refused to say anything until she’d spoken to an attorney, and even then, she insisted on her and Turner’s innocence.
According to Amick, Turner had told Griffin that his commander had gotten angry when he found out Turner didn’t want to kill people anymore. Turner had gone up to see his parents in their hotel room, and when he got there, he saw his commander standing over their dead bodies, trying to frame him for murder. Before Turner could do anything, the commander had already jumped off their 12th-story balcony and run away.
Griffin told investigators that after Turner told her all this, he took her up to the hotel to help him hide the bodies.
Turner, for his part, had been telling investigators a very different story. After his arrest, he immediately ditched the lie about being a hired killer. Instead, he told investigators he was unemployed, reports News and Observer.
Griffin told producers that when the police told her what her boyfriend was saying, it took her a long time to believe them. When she finally did, she was overwhelmed with guilt.
“I hate myself every time I think about what I did,” she told producers. “I didn’t pull the trigger, no, but I was too scared to do the right thing.”
Griffin entered an Alford plea to being an accessory after the fact to murder, according to the Roanoke Times. This means that she didn’t admit her guilt, but she acknowledged that a jury would likely convict her, given the available evidence. Thanks in part to her young age — she was still a teenager when she was arrested — Griffin served only 18 months starting in March 2015.
Turner was sentenced to 47 years, according to the Horry Independent
Today, although Griffin is once again a free woman, her past still haunts her.
“To this day, I still feel guilty,” she said. “I’m told by all my peers, you know, he still would’ve done it. He would’ve found a way to do it. And I still blame myself.”
For the whole story of Griffin and Turner’s deadly affair, watch Episode 3 of “Killer Couples” on Oxygen.com, and catch new episodes Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
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