Douglas Turner Murders 9 In Montana

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Douglas Turner was a sixteen year old teen killer from Montana who would murder three people and then end up on Montana death row for killing six more inside of prison

According to court documents Douglas Turner would shoot to death his neighbors James Brooks, Ora Brooks, and Sharon Brooks. Turner would be convicted of the three murders and sentenced to one hundred years in prison

In the next few years Douglas Turner would murder five inmates in a prison riot

Douglas Turner and fellow inmate William Jay Gollehon would beat to death another inmate Gerald Pileggi. For this latest prison murder Turner and Gollehon would be sentenced to death

William Jay Gollehon remains on Montana death row

Douglas Turner would take his own life in July 2003

Douglas Turner Case

Death row inmate Douglas Turner was found hanging dead in his maximum security cell at Montana State Prison early Tuesday morning.

Guards doing their routine rounds of the building found Turner, 31, hanging from a part of his cell around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, said Cheryl Bolton, a prison spokeswoman.

“It looks like an apparent suicide,” Bolton said.

Turner was pronounced dead Tuesday morning by the Powell County coroner who was called to the prison. His body was taken to the state crime lab in Missoula for an autopsy, which is required any time an inmate dies alone in prison, Bolton said.

Turner was a nine-time murderer who spent almost half his short life behind bars. He killed for the first time in 1987 — less than a month after his 16th birthday — when he shot dead three neighbors in his hometown of Glendive. Although not legally an adult, Turner was sentenced to 100 years at the state prison in Deer Lodge. Two years later, he and another inmate, William Jay Gollehon, beat to death fellow prisoner Gerald Pileggi with a baseball bat while the three were recreating in the prison yard.

Turner was sentenced to death for Pileggi’s murder and transferred to the prison’s highest-security building.

Less than year later, Turner took part in the 1991 deadly riot at the building, killing five other inmates. He was sentenced to life for the murder

Just how long Turner’s life would have been was up in the air. He had no execution date, Bolton said, and his latest appeal of his death sentence are still pending before the Montana Supreme Court.

Many details of the death have not been released. Bolton said she wouldn’t say what was in his cell because the death is still under investigation. Neither would she say if Turner had ever tried to kill himself before or if he was on a suicide watch at the time of his death, citing medical confidentiality.

In recent years, she said, Turner was not known as an unruly inmate. He had not received any disciplinary write-ups in the last seven years and he was not being punished for bad behavior at the time of his death.

Turner’s life was isolated. He was locked down in his one-man cell most of the time. He ate meals in his cell. He had not been outside the prison in some time, Bolton said. Condemned inmates are allowed out of their cells only to shower and to recreate in outdoor cages or a small internal day room for an hour-and-a-half every other day. Turner rarely ventured into the cages, Bolton said.

In Glendive, where his mother lives, Turner is still known as an infamous criminal.

“As far as I know, he is the most prolific murderer I’ve heard of in the state,” said Dawson County Attorney Scott Herring.

His family is expected to handle the funeral, Bolton said, but if that changes, the prison will bury him in a special part of the Deer Lodge cemetery reserved for deceased inmates.

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