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.
- Shannon Duffy, 32, will be able to apply for parole from April 2037
- He previously pleaded guilty to murdering his friend Jarrod Turner
- Speaking outside the court, Mr Turner’s mother said he meant everything to his family
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.
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.
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.