Battery trial begins in jail assault

A trial is underway today for a defendant in the 2006 Hamilton Avenue slayings on a felony battery charge stemming from an incident inside Marion County Jail.

Desmond Turner, 30, was accused of striking a corrections officer during a scuffle in January 2007. The incident was the third to result in battery charges and spurred Turner’s transfer to the state-run Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in southwestern Indiana to await trial in the murder case.

In today’s trial, jurors will hear evidence that Turner assaulted corrections officer Michael Gunyon, who received treatment for a facial injury and leg pain. He was convicted of spitting on jail officers in two other cases.

If convicted of battery, Turner would face up to 3 years in prison.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Turner in the Hamilton Avenue slayings of seven members of a family on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside. That case is set for trial in February, and Turner’s co-defendant is James Stewart.



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