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Georgia jury spares antifreeze killer the death penalty, sentences her to life without parole

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DALTON, Ga. — Jurors Tuesday spared the life of a former 911 dispatcher convicted of poisoning her boyfriend with antifreeze — the same way she had killed her husband six years earlier.
    Lynn Turner could have faced the death penalty for the 2001 murder of Randy Thompson, a Forsyth County firefighter and father of Turner’s two children. Instead, the jury sentenced her to life in prison without parole.
    She was already serving a life term following her 2004 conviction in the antifreeze death of her police officer husband Glenn Turner in 1995.
    Lynn Turner had maintained her innocence in both cases and did not testify at trial or during her sentencing hearing Monday.
    Prosecutors said she was motivated by greed for the victims’ life insurance money.
    Tests on the victims’ bodies showed they were poisoned with ethylene glycol, a sweet, odorless chemical in antifreeze. During the 2004 trial, prosecutors suggested it could have been placed in foods such as Jell-O.
    The jury deliberated for about five hours before reaching a sentencing decision Tuesday, about the same amount of time it took them to find Turner guilty on Saturday of malice murder in Thompson’s death. The jury’s sentence is final; in cases where the state seeks the death penalty in Georgia, the jury issues the sentence.
    Thompson’s family said afterward they believed justice had been done.
    Perry Thompson, Randy’s father, said he found closure on Saturday when Turner was found guilty.
    ‘‘That proved that he hadn’t taken his own life,’’ he said. ‘‘We knew that all along anyway, but we wanted everybody else to know.’’
    ‘‘Nothing can bring him back,’’ said Thompson’s mother, Nita.
    Defense attorney Vic Reynolds said Turner was grateful that the jury didn’t sentence her to death.
    ‘‘The realization will now sink in that she’s spending the rest of her life in prison in this state,’’ Reynolds said. ‘‘She’s trying to come to grips with that, but she’s very thankful that the jury chose the life option over the death option.’’
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