The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a Pasadena man convicted of strangling the mother of his two children and leaving her body in her car on a Monrovia street.
Jose Roberto Turner is serving a 26-year-to-life prison term for the June 2015 killing of his ex-girlfriend, LaJoya Mc Coy, 31, of Monrovia.
In an Aug. 29 ruling, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found that the prosecution had presented “compelling evidence” of Turner’s “motive and intent to kill” McCoy, along with his presence at the crime scene.
According to the appellate panel’s 22-page ruling, Turner “wrote about his anger at McCoy and his intent to kill her shortly before the murder. He had displayed stalking behavior and jealousy when McCoy was in the presence of other men. He slashed her tires and took documents from her apartment. Significantly, forensic evidence connected him to the murder, since his DNA was present at the crime scene and he was a possible contributor to the DNA mixture in her fingernails. Furthermore, he displayed consciousness of guilt when he failed to help McCoy’s family and police.”
The justices rejected the defense’s contention that jurors should not have heard the testimony of a former girlfriend who described Turner as having been controlling and physically abusive during their relationship more than two decades earlier. The appellate court panel noted the “substantial similarities” between the acts described by the ex-girlfriend and the evidence against Turner at trial, finding that it showed that the defendant “engaged in a similar pattern of abuse against both women.”
McCoy — who worked as an accountant with the city of Los Angeles and owned a clothing boutique — was reported missing after she failed to show up for some scheduled appointments.
Police went to her home in the 8000 block of West Olive Avenue and found evidence of foul play, including blood stains on the mattress, carpet and wall in the master bedroom. Her body, which was covered with a blanket and a child’s car seat, was subsequently discovered about a mile away, inside her car, about 4:30 a.m. on June 16, 2015.
Turner was arrested about 2 1/2 months later by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, and was convicted last year of first-degree murder.
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