Christopher Turner sat dejected in D.C. Jail yesterday after a Superior Court jury convicted him of murder in the slaying of Catherine Fuller.
Prior to Fuller's slaying, Turner never had been arrested. Now the 20-year-old Coolidge High School graduate faces a possible sentence of at least 20 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
"I feel like dying, having people look at me as though I'm the worst person in the world when I know that I'm not like that," Turner told a Washington Post reporter during an interview in a jail visiting room.
"I'm not capable of doing anything like that," he said. "My background reflects that."
Turner's 21-year-old brother Charles -- who had several previous arrests -- was convicted Monday on charges of murder, kidnaping and robbery in the case. Both men continued to maintain their innocence and said they felt they had been betrayed by the criminal justice system.
"We were railroaded," Charles Turner said. "I can't say those other guys were the ones who did it, since I wasn't there. But I don't think they were the ones who did it either."
Charles Turner said he had braced himself before the jury returned Monday with the first eight verdicts, convicting six defendants and finding two others not guilty.
"My heart was beating really fast. My lawyer told I'm not capable of doing anything like that." -- Christopher Turner me to look proud and dignified. But he didn't need to tell me that because that's what I was going to do anyway."
But when the six convicted defendants filed out of the courtroom, he said, their mood turned to despair. "Everybody was crying."
Christopher Turner said he will have to depend now on his friends for the strength he needs to carry on behind bars.
"I'm kind of coming out of it with my friends, my girlfriend especially, coming down to see me," he said. "They're keeping me strong."