Hearing concludes in killing of airman in Iceland
May 11, 2006
NAVAL AIR STATION KEFLAVIK, Iceland — Details of the scene where Airman 1st Class Ashley Turner was found dead last August emerged Wednesday on the second day of an Article 32 hearing for her accused killer.
The hearing wrapped up on Wednesday and now it’s up to the investigating officer to make a recommendation on whether a court-martial should be held for Airman Calvin E. Hill, 20, who is accused of killing Turner.
Witnesses said Turner, 20, was found lying face down with a wound to her neck and a pool of blood around her head. Little in the room had been disturbed, said the two airmen who found Turner, as well as the head security officer at NAS Keflavik.
The room “was actually fairly in order,” said Lt. Junior Grade Karla Bennett, the top security officer for the base.
Staff Sgt. Jerrod Sunderland, who discovered Turner’s body last Aug. 14, recounted seeing what he thought was someone sleeping in a lounge adjacent to his dorm’s exercise room.
The lights in the room were off, he said, but on a second look he could see something wet around the person’s head, which he took to be vomit. Summoning a friend to help him rouse the person, Sunderland entered the room again and turned the lights on, revealing the substance was blood, he said.
He tried to take a pulse, but his own heart, beating hard from his workout, made it hard to tell whether he could feel one, he said.
“I couldn’t tell whether it was just my heartbeat or hers,” he said.
Sunderland said he did not believe she was alive when he found Turner. Within the hour, she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Sunderland’s account came during the second day of witness testimony in the Article 32 hearing for Hill. Both Hill and Turner were members of the 56th Rescue Squadron.
Air Force prosecutors charge that Hill murdered Turner to keep her from testifying against him in a court-martial that was scheduled last year. In that case, Hill was accused of stealing money from Turner by making repeated unauthorized withdrawals from her bank card.
Turner’s father, Larry Turner, and her brother, Jason Turner, read prepared statements late Tuesday about losing Ashley, and called for the death penalty for Hill if he is found guilty.
Col. Mark Allred, the investigating officer, warned prosecutors to confine further family comments to the impact of the crime on them, saying he would not tolerate a “public castigation” of a man who has not been convicted.