Charles and Sharon Turnell were bound over to District Court Thursday, August 5 on charges of aiding and abetting child abuse that led to the death of four year old Landon Payne in December of 2009.
Judge Robert Ide stated during the proceedings, “We have a child who has accumulated an extraordinary number of injuries, including a prior head injury. We have physicians that tell us these could not have occurred from the accident that was suggested. And, looking at the photographs alone, I don’t know how this child could have gotten this severely injured if he was in a cement mixer.”
Following four hours of testimony by Kearney County Deputy Sheriff Corey Ziola and Nebraska State Patrol Investigator Ryan Phinney, Judge Ide dismissed charges of accessory to a felony on the grounds the state had not provided sufficient evidence to support the charges; however Ide upheld the charge of aiding and abetting child abuse resulting in death, a Class 1B felony with a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison. Ide also upheld the bonds for both Charles and Sharon Turnell. Charles Turnell is being held in Kearney County jail on a $300,000 bond, Sharon is being held in Phelps County Jail on $1 million bond.
NSP Investigator Phinney told the court during his testimony, “In my years of being an investigator, I have never seen a child so bruised.”
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