Jarrod Turner’s killer Shannon Duffy sentenced to life in prison for ‘execution-style’ murder

On a dark country road, after a night of drinking, Jarrod Leigh Turner was shot dead — murdered— by his friend, in what the sentencing judge called “cold-blooded”, “callous” and “in the worst category of the crime”.

Mr Turner’s killer, Shannon Duffy, has been sentenced to imprisonment for the term of his natural life, with a non-parole period of 18 years.

Duffy previously pleaded guilty to murdering his friend Mr Turner, whose body was found on Colebrook Road, near the southern Tasmanian town of Richmond on April 14, 2019.

Sentencing Duffy in the Supreme Court in Hobart on Friday, Justice Michael Brett said it was a “cold-blooded and callous killing carried out in the style of an execution”.

Justice Brett said Duffy shot Mr Turner with a 12-gauge shotgun at close range and left him to bleed to death on the side of the rural road.

Jarrod Turner’s body was found in April last year.(Facebook: Jarrod Turner)

Justice Brett said Duffy had agreed to another person’s suggestion to shoot Mr Turner, but not kill him, as punishment for a perceived grievance.

But he said that was not the motive for the murder.

Justice Brett said Duffy formed a plan to murder Mr Turner, when a 14-girl told him that Mr Turner had sexually assaulted her.

“You decided you would kill Mr Turner in retribution for what you believed he had done,” Justice Brett said.

“You arrogantly took it upon yourself to end the life of this man who was only 22 years of age … you committed this act to ingratiate yourself with her [the girl].”

Justice Brett said Duffy sent Mr Turner a text message on April 13, arranging to pick him up later that night to drink alcohol together.

“I infer that you arranged this as a ruse,” Justice Brett said.

“You betrayed your friendship with Mr Turner by using it to deceive him.”

At 2:31am on April 14, they were at Five Mile Beach where Mr Turner uploaded a social media video which showed the men drinking and acting in a friendly manner towards each other.

“On the return journey, after 3:36am on Colebrook Road near Richmond you asked the female driver to stop … so you and Mr Turner could urinate,” Justice Brett said.

He said while Mr Turner was urinating on the side of the semi-rural road, Duffy retrieved the shotgun from where he had hidden it in the car and shot Mr Turner very close to head under his right ear.

Attempts to resuscitate Mr Turner when paramedics and police arrived about two and a half hours after the shooting were unsuccessful.

‘It doesn’t bring my son back’

Justice Brett said the murder had profoundly affected Mr Turner’s family, and deprived his young children of a father.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Turner’s mother Michelle Bradley said Mr Turner meant everything to his family.

“The sentence Shannon Duffy received today doesn’t bring my son Jarrod home to us or his two boys,” Mr Bradley said.

“He [has] never done what he was accused of with that young girl.”

She said she wanted harsher sentences for murderers.

“Change murderers to life, no parole — they’ve taken a life so they don’t deserve a life either,” she said.

Mr Turner’s sister Lakeisha Pearce said her brother was her best friend.

Jarrod Turner's family speaking to the media.
Mr Turner’s mother Michelle Bradley said Mr Turner meant everything to his family.(ABC News)

In his sentencing remarks, Justice Brett said Duffy’s crime was in the worst category of murder, and he described Duffy’s criminal record as “appalling”.

He said Duffy had a dysfunctional childhood, had been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome and a mild intellectual disability.

“Those aspects of your life deserve sympathy but they also suggest that there is little probability or home [for rehabilitation],” he said.

He warned that while he had given Duffy the chance to apply for parole, it did not mean it would be granted.

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How to watch former prime minister John Turner’s state funeral

Former prime minister John Turner is being honoured in Toronto tomorrow with a scaled-back state funeral featuring measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

CBC will be broadcasting special live coverage of the event hosted by Rosemary Barton and beginning at 10 a.m. ET on CBC News Network, CBC.ca, CBC GEM, the CBC News app YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

There will be a church service at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica in Toronto that will strictly follow public health protocols, including mask wearing, sanitizing and physical distancing.

There will be no public lying-in-state for public viewing and the church service is by invitation only.

St. Michael’s can hold up to 1,600 people. Because of pandemic restrictions, however, only a limited number of guests, chosen by the former prime minister’s family, have been invited to Turner’s funeral. The burial will take place in private and no reception will follow the church service.

Watch: CBC NEWS SPECIAL: State Funeral for John Turner:

Watch CBC News special coverage of the state funeral of former prime minister John Turner in Toronto.   0:00

The family has asked that, instead of flowers, donations be made to the World Wildlife Fund Canada and the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation.

Past state funerals have included public processions in the streets of Ottawa and periods of lying in state — usually in Parliament — to give Canadians an opportunity to pay their final respects.

State funerals are rare. Only 31 state funerals have been held in Canada since Confederation in 1867, including 12 for prime ministers, seven for governors general and eight for cabinet ministers.

The last state funeral for a Canadian prime minister was for Pierre Trudeau in 2000.

Three other members of Parliament have been given state funerals: the assassinated Thomas D’Arcy McGee in 1868 and, more recently, NDP leader Jack Layton and former finance minister Jim Flaherty.

The government announced the national flags on the Peace Tower and all federal buildings and establishments in Canada will fly at half-mast to honour Turner’s memory. Flags will be at half-mast until the sunset on the day of his funeral.

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Anger as Nathan Turner’s death ruled not COVID-19 relateed

There are calls for Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to apologise for a “traumatic” bungle that led a recently deceased man to be diagnosed with COVID-19 only for an autopsy to reveal he did not have the virus in his system at all.

Nathan Turner, 30, had been Australia’s youngest ever coronavirus victim when he died last Tuesday with a post-mortem positive test.

His body was found in his home by his fiance Simone Devon. He could not be revived and was declared deceased at the scene. He had underlying health conditions and flu-like symptoms.

Hailing from Blackwater in central Queensland, the diagnosis baffled health officials who scrambled to understand how the virus had reached the town 200kms west of Rockhampton.

At just 30, Nathan Turner was thought to be Australia’s youngest ever COVID-19 victim.Source:Facebook

Amid fears of an outbreak, hundreds of locals got tested but none were positive. Queensland Health has conceded a coroner’s report has now said there was no trace of the virus in Mr Turner’s body. But it’s not clear what he did die of.

A petition on website Change.org has now been started which demands the Premier and chief health officer Jeanette Young make a “national apology”.

“Your leadership created emotional, mental and physical trauma to the loved ones of Nathan, especially his fiance Simone.

“You should be ashamed of yourself and if you had any human decency left then you will apologise for creating trauma to this family,” the strongly worded statement said.

“The emotional, mental, social and physical trauma your chaos caused has broken a family to pieces. A mother and father have lost their son (and) a fiance now struggles to sleep alone without her partner.”

At least 2000 people have signed the petition.

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