Former Maxim, Playboy model sentenced to minimum of 10 years in death of California doctor
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A tearful former model was sentenced to between 10 to 25 years in prison for her role in the 2019 killing of a California psychiatrist.
Kelsey Turner, a former Maxim and Playboy model, had accepted a plea deal in Nov. 2022 after prosecutors argued that she and her boyfriend, Jon Kennison, were responsible for the death of 71-year-old Thomas Burchard.
Burchard’s body was found in the trunk of the abandoned car, near Lake Mead, in March 2019.
Turner’s sentence on the second-degree murder charge was the result of a plea deal with the state that guaranteed she would be eligible for parole in 10 years if she accepted an Alford plea, according to court documents.
The plea allowed Turner, 29, to not plead guilty but to acknowledge that the state had enough evidence to prove she was guilty.
Police said Turner had a relationship with Burchard and he paid her rent.
Prosecutors said Burchard tried to cut off the relationship, at which point Turner alleged that Burchard had pornographic photos of minors on his phone. Her then-boyfriend, Jon Kennison, 29, was accused of beating Burchard to death and hiding his body in the car’s trunk.
“She was content to leave someone she knew for a number of years, who supported her and her child financially for a number of years, to rot in the back of the car in the desert that he paid for,” Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney, Pamela Weckerly, said while addressing the court.
Weckerly also told the court that accusations of child pornography turned out to be false.
The victim’s longtime girlfriend, Judy Earp, was given the opportunity to address the court one last time, despite the defense’s attempt to block it through a filed objection.
“My whole world was viciously ripped from me,” said Earp, who previously told Nexstar’s KLAS that Turner stole upwards of $300,000 from Burchard after he attempted to cut her off.
“She printed on her home computer checks with Tom’s name and account number and her address. She also went online and made many charges paying her bills,” Earp told the court. “His last words to me were, ‘She’s such a pervasive liar that I had to see for myself.’”
Earp declined to speak to media after her court appearance. But inside court, she indicated that she feared that Turner could retaliate when she’s released. She also said Turner threatened to kill her, via a text exchange, in the past.
“I never realized such evil existed in this world until this happened,” Earp said. “I do not want to spend the rest of my life constantly worrying and always looking over my shoulder, if or when she is granted parole.”
Kennison was sentenced in July to between 18 and 45 years for his role in the murder. A roommate of the couple, Diana Nicole Pena, also pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and provided prosecutors with critical evidence.