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Former “Playboy” model takes plea deal in murder of 71-year-old psychiatrist


(NEW YORK) — A former Playboy model, accused of murdering a 71-year-old psychiatrist who police said was helping pay her bills, has reached a plea deal, court records show.

Kelsey Turner, 29, was arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the April 2019 death of Thomas Burchard of Salinas, California, whom authorities said was paying Turner’s rent on a Las Vegas apartment.

Burchard was found bludgeoned to death in the trunk of Turner’s Mercedes Benz after traveling to Las Vegas to tell her he would no longer pay for her lifestyle, police said. He died of blunt force trauma to the head, said police, who found the car abandoned on a desert road near Lake Mead after Burchard’s long-time girlfriend reported him missing.

As part of the plea agreement, which was entered in Clark County District Court on Wednesday, Turner pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The other charges she faces will be dismissed when she’s sentenced, according to the agreement.

The particular deal reached with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office is what’s known as an Alford plea. Turner was able to maintain her innocence while pleading guilty, with the understanding that a jury would have convicted her based on the evidence presented by prosecutors.

Turner had previously pleaded not guilty to her initial charges and has been detained in the Clark County Detention Center while awaiting trial. She is now scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 10, 2023, and faces 10 to 25 years in prison.

Two accused accomplices in Burchard’s murder have also taken plea deals.

Turner’s co-defendant and former boyfriend, Jon Kennison, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced in July to 18 to 25 years in prison.

Another co-defendant, the former couple’s roommate Diana Pena, pleaded guilty to accessory to commit murder in 2019 and has yet to be sentenced.

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