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Ga. woman dies while serving life sentence for poisoning

A woman who killed her husband and later her boyfriend by poisoning them with antifreeze died Monday at a state prison where she was serving a life sentence, prison officials said.

Lynn Turner, 42, was found unresponsive Monday in her cell at Metro State Prison and could not be revived, said Sharmelle Brooks of the Georgia Department of Corrections.

The former 911 operator from north Georgia was convicted in 2004 of killing her husband, police officer Glenn Turner, in 1995. Authorities first thought he died of natural causes, but reopened the investigation in 2001 after her boyfriend, firefighter Randy Thompson, was found to have been poisoned.

Lynn Turner's mother, Helen Gregory, said she and Turner's two children, ages 12 and 14, had just visited her at the prison Sunday. Gregory said her daughter seemed fine physically, but was concerned for her safety.

The warden told Gregory that Turner was found dead in bed inside the cell she shared with several other inmates.

"As I started to leave her yesterday, she said, 'Momma, those girls are going to get me. I just know they will,'" Gregory said.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said an autopsy revealed no indication of foul play in Turner's death, though the cause will not be determined until toxicology and other tests are done.

Penny Penn, the Forsyth County district attorney who tried Turner in 2007, called her death "the final chapter in what has been a very long and very sad, albeit fascinating, story."

Penn had sought the death penalty, but jurors chose a life sentence. Prosecutors said Turner killed the men to profit from their life insurance policies.

Prosecutors said both men were poisoned with ethylene glycol, a sweet but odorless chemical in antifreeze. During Turner's 2004 trial, prosecutors suggested the substance could have been placed in foods such as Jell-O.

Randy Thompson's mother, Nita Thompson, said she never minded that Turner wasn't sentenced to death.

"We had closure when they put her in prison," Thompson said. "This isn't going to make it any different. She still did it, whether she's dead or alive."

Turner's mother still insists she was innocent and she believes new evidence would have cleared her daughter on appeal.

"This girl was not guilty," Gregory said. "She was taken away from me because people lied at the trial and did not give the correct information at the trial."

James Turner, Glenn's brother, said Lynn's death has opened old scars.

"I had closure when she got life in prison. Now we have to find out what happened to her — whether it was foul play or suicide," he said.

Turner said he had always opposed the death penalty for the woman who killed his brother because he wanted her to spend the rest of her life behind bars.

"Now I feel like we've been cheated," he said. "Instead of her sitting there thinking about what she did the rest of her life, she got the easy way out."

___

Bynum reported from Savannah, Ga.

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