Judge dismisses murder charges against man accused of killing stepdaughter

 July 18, 2023

A perception of lawlessness appears to be growing in Joe Biden's America, with a Marist poll from March finding almost 70% of adults believe that growing criminal violence is a "real threat."

That feeling may well grow after a judge threw out charges earlier this week against an Arizona man who was accused of murdering his stepdaughter. 

Defense attorney calls ruling "rare"

According to ABC 15, a Phoenix judge granted a motion put forward by Michael Turney's attorney to enter a verdict of acquittal.

The television station noted that Turney was accused of killing his 17-year-old stepdaughter, Alissa Turney, who disappeared in 2001.

While Miss Turney's body has never been found, authorities opened a criminal investigation of her disappearance in 2008 following the emergence of new evidence.

Stepfather sentenced to 10 years for unrelated bomb plot

Criminal defense attorney Marc Victor was quoted as telling ABC 15 that such rulings are "rare," stressing, "It doesn't usually happen on the bigger cases like second-degree murder."

"What's happening is the defense attorney is saying to the judge, 'judge, don't require me to put anything on,'" the attorney explained.

"Because even if you believe everything that the state has presented, if you view it in the light most favorable to the state, it still isn't enough for a conviction," Victor went on to add.

ABC 15 noted that Turney was previously given a 10-year prison after he pleaded guilty to his role in an unrelated bomb plot that was uncovered during the investigation of his stepdaughter's disappearance.

Victim's sister believes stepfather is guilty

Alissa Turney's family told ABC 15 that they reject any notion that her stepfather is innocent, with sister Sarah testifying in court about witnessing a bad relationship between her sibling and the defendant.

She also created a podcast focusing on the case called "Voices for Justice" and shared "haunting home videos" of her sister on social media.

ABC 15 correspondent Ashley Holden posted a video to Twitter showing Turney outside of court as he waited for one of his sons to pick him up.

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