Opening Statements Reveal Incriminating Phone Records in Homicide Trial

Incriminating phone records between Derek Turner, 31, and Duan Hill, 33, were referenced during the prosecution’s opening statements on Sept. 20.

Turner and Ronnika Jennings, 44, are charged with first-degree murder while armed, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy in connection to the shooting death of 28-year-old Andrew McPhatter on March 5, 2017, on the 3500 block of Wheeler Road, SE.  Hill is charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Turner is also charged with another count of first-degree murder while armed in connection to the shooting death of 23-year-old Devin Hall

On a jail call, Turner allegedly told Hill, “We told her what to do. We told her what to do.”

The prosecution presented the 10mm Glock, found in Turner’s car, that was ballistically linked to each of the shootings and murders. The prosecution said Turner would call Jennings after each shooting or encounter with police and presented their phone records to the jury. 

Jennings was a civilian employee with the Metropolitan Police Department as a station clerk. She is accused of assisting Turner with his crimes by accessing confidential police reports. 

A detective with the Metropolitan Police Department noticed Turner’s GPS tracker was being manipulated. That detective also noticed Jennings had constantly been running Turner’s identifiers through the systems.  

Turner, Hill, and Jennings allegedly had a plan for Turner’s former girlfriend, Marshay Hazelwood, to tell the attorneys and police that the 10mm Glock was hers to get Turner out of jail. However, whenever Hazelwood was subpoenaed in front of a grand jury, instead of going along with the plan, she invoked her fifth amendment right.​​

Jennings searched Turner’s name through police databases and accessed police reports with witnesses’ information. She gave Turner real-time information about what the police were doing or not doing.

“Ms. Jennings’ weapon of choice was that computer terminal. Mr. Turner’s weapon of choice was the 10mm Glock,” the prosecutor told the jury.

Turner’s defense attorney, Michael Madden, is scheduled to begin his opening statements on Sept. 21.