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Mpls. Man Pleads Guilty To 2003 Murder, Drops Supreme Court Appeal

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis man agreed to plead guilty to a 2003 murder which was originally appealed and was awaiting a Minnesota Supreme Court decision.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, 27-year-old Jonathan “Thirsty” Turner agreed to plead guilty last Wednesday to intentional second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Marcus Dortch.

Turner is already serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.

On July 29, 2003, Dortch was shot multiple times while talking to two women on the corner of Oakland and 22nd Avenues in Minneapolis. Turner and another man jumped out of bushes and shot Dortch, also injuring one of the women.

Within a couple weeks of Dortch’s murder, Turner shot and killed Javon Spencer, who was sitting in a car on Park Avenue between Franklin Avenue and 22nd Street South.

Turner was tried twice for Spencer’s killing; the first attempted resulted in a hung jury, and the second was derailed when a witness committed perjury.

Prosecutors then decided to focus on the Dortch murder, and Turner was found guilty of in 2010. He appealed the decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court in hope of having it overturned and sent back for a second trial.

The Supreme Court’s decision was expected to be handed down by the end of May. Turner decided to drop the appeal and plead guilty to the lesser charge in Dortch’s murder.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says he’s pleased with the turn of events in Turner’s case.

“We knew Mr. Turner was a murderer, and despite several setbacks, we never gave up our efforts to make sure he spent a long time in prison,” Freeman said.

Turner was sentenced to more than 30 years.

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