LAS VEGAS - Former Playboy model Kelsey Turner has entered a guilty plea deal for her role in the killing of California psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Burchard but maintains her innocence, according to Clark County, Nevada, records and local reports.
Turner, 28, and her boyfriend, 30-year-old Jon Logan Kennison, were arrested in 2019 after authorities found Burchard's body stuffed in the trunk of an abandoned car on State Route 147 near Lake Mead outside Las Vegas on March 7, 2019.
Police say Burchard, 71, traveled from California to Las Vegas, where Turner was located at the time, to end their two-year relationship in which he apparently gave her an allowance to fund her lifestyle totaling an estimated $300,000, FOX 13 Las Vegas reported.
Turner and Kennison are accused of beating Burchard with a baseball bat and hiding his body in the trunk of Turner's Mercedes.
Turner entered the plea deal in Clark County District Court as part of a bargain in which she is maintaining her innocence but will plead guilty to second-degree murder. Her next court appearance is slated for Tuesday, FOX 13 reported.
Kennison pleaded guilty in June to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 18-45 years in prison, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The couple's roommate, Diana Pena, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to being an accessory to murder, testified that she witnessed Kennison hit Burchard with a baseball bat in their Las Vegas home on 7474 Puritan Ave.
Pena also testified that Turner encouraged Kennison to "knock Thomas out," and she later saw Kennison covered in blood, the Review-Journal reported.
Authorities determined Burchard died from blunt force injury to the head. His death was ruled a homicide.
Burchard, who chose not to retire at 65 because he couldn’t bear to leave his patients, had worked nearly four decades in the behavioral health program with Montage Health, according to the Review-Journal.
"Dr. Burchard was a psychiatrist in our behavioral health program for almost 40 years and was very helpful to many patients," Montage Health spokeswoman Mary Barker said in a statement at the time. "It’s a very sad situation and our hearts go out to his family, friends, patients, and colleagues. We are notifying his patients and providing grief counseling for staff."
On a website called PrisonBelles.com for female inmates who seek correspondence while incarcerated, a profile purporting to be Turner's states that she is "currently incarcerated in Las Vegas for a murder [she] did not commit."
"I am looking for pen pals and support as I make my way through my trial and whatever time I may receive," the profile description states. "I was a model before this happened and I would like to get back into the business once I am released."
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