Man suspected of shooting neighbor arraigned

July 16, 2010 5:41:28 PM PDT
Police say the man charged in the murder of 48-year-old Verna Hollins in San Jose Wednesday had ongoing animosity towards her and was especially angry with her the night of the murder.

Robert Turner, 61, was arraigned in San Jose this afternoon on murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges in connection with the murder of Hollins and stabbing of 48-year-old Lucy Ferscas.

Turner is accused of shooting Hollins following a verbal dispute shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday at a two-story apartment complex at 2125 Rexford Way.

Hollins was pronounced dead later that night at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Prior to the shooting, police say Turner stabbed Ferscas in the stomach. She was in stable condition this morning at Valley Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said.

After she was stabbed, Ferscas went to Hollins' apartment, which was two doors down from Turner's, and knocked on her door, police Officer Jose Garcia said. Meanwhile, Turner allegedly retrieved a gun from his apartment and went to Hollins' unit, Garcia said.

When Hollins opened the door, Turner allegedly shot her point-blank in the chest and then returned to his apartment, according to Garcia.

All three people knew each other, Garcia said. The crime appears to have stemmed from a dispute of some sort, although it's unclear how the argument began, Garcia said.

A witness who knew both Turner and Hollins said the two had an ongoing personal feud, but that it had never been violent, according to a police report.

A second witness, who claimed to be a friend of Turner's, told police that Turner had ongoing animosity towards Hollins and that he was particularly angry with her on Wednesday night, according to the report.

Officers confronted Turner on their way to Hollins' apartment and took him into custody.

In a duffel bag in his apartment, officers found a gun and a knife with fresh bloodstains, which Turner allegedly referred to as the "murder weapon," according to the report.

Turner is expected to enter a plea on July 30.


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