Jury selection continues in auto parts store double murder trial

Jury selection continues in auto parts store double murder trial

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A double murder trial could start before the week is over if a jury is seated Thursday.

Lee Turner, Jr., 25, of Baton Rouge, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two men during a robbery at CarQuest Auto Parts on Airline Highway in 2011. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have already spent eight days questioning potential jurors. The big question is could they vote to put someone to death.

If the jury is seated Thursday, opening statements and testimony would get underway Friday.

Edward Gurtner, 43, and Randy Chaney, 54, were found dead in a back room of the store on March 27, 2011. The wife of one of the victims is the person who discovered the bodies. Turner was arrested the following day.

Investigators said Turner not only worked at a different CarQuest Auto Parts store from where the deadly shootings occurred, but that's where authorities picked him up.

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said once Turner was in custody, he confessed to killing the two victims. The sheriff added the suspect essentially broke down.

Turner's attorney tried to get the taped confession tossed from the case. District Court Judge Richard Anderson watched part of Turner's 11-hour interrogation.

He denied it at first, saying he was just trying to help a friend fix his car. The deputies testified they found cash and a bank bag at Turner's house.

Anderson later ruled the confession can be used in the trial. He also sided with detectives that they had probable cause to search Turner's home after the shooting.

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