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Deaths ended day of divorce

Sat., May 12, 2007

CALDER, Idaho – Rose Turner told a sheriff’s deputy and co-workers she feared her estranged husband would harm her, even kill her.

Her concerns were realized Thursday when Rick Turner entered her remote home 40 miles southeast of Coeur d’Alene, sparking a gunfight that left him dead and the 43-year-old woman hospitalized with a bullet wound to her head.

The woman’s parents also were shot dead, found in chairs inside the double-wide mobile home in this rural mountain community along the St. Joe River.

Their names have not been released by officials, but KREM television reported they were Fred Smith, 71, and Effie Smith, 68.

Shoshone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds said Friday it isn’t clear who fired the shots that killed Rose Turner’s parents. It does not appear they were caught in the crossfire between Rose and Rick Turner, he said.

“Obviously they didn’t deserve that,” said the sheriff. He described the crime scene as “gruesome.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Resser said Rose Turner contacted him weeks earlier, worried that her husband – the two were divorcing – was going to hurt her.

“She said, ‘If I call and say this is Rose, get over here now,’ ” Resser said. The deputy also talked with Rick Turner. “He assured me everything was cool.”

Family friend Julie “Tiny” Codoni, of Calder, said Rick Turner was despondent when she talked talked to him Wednesday. “He was in really bad shape,” she said. “He was hurting. He loved her. She was his life.”

Resser said the divorce was to become final the day of the shooting. Authorities said the two were involved in domestic disputes years ago, but that no incidents had been reported in the past couple of years.

The Sheriff’s Department received a report about 7 p.m. Thursday that at least three people had been killed at the residence on St. Joe River Road. Rose Turner, who was shot in the area of her eye, was taken by Medstar helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. She was listed in serious condition in intensive care Friday.

Deputies found two guns, one small caliber and one large, Reynalds said.

He said it wasn’t clear how long Rose Turner lay wounded before help arrived. The scene was discovered by one of Rose Turner’s colleagues when she didn’t show up for work Thursday at Valley Vista Care Center, a nursing home in St. Maries.

The certified nursing assistant told her co-workers she feared for her life. “She had made comments over the last little while that he was going to kill her,” said Lisa Lloyd, the administrator designee at Valley Vista.

Authorities believe only Rose and Rick Turner fired shots. Earlier Friday investigators dismissed a theory that Rick Turner shot the others, then took his own life. “We’re taking suicide out of the equation,” Reynalds said.

However, late Friday night, Undersheriff Mitch Alexander said it was still unclear whether Rick Turner had taken his own life or had been shot. “We know they both exchanged gunfire,” Alexander said.

Lloyd described Rose Turner as a dedicated worker and terrific person, saying she had been working with the Sheriff’s Office to get protection from her husband. But Reynalds said Rose Turner had not requested a no-contact order.

Rick Turner visited the Calder Store – a convenience store, restaurant and bar – on Wednesday and seemed happy, owner Jeff Barber said. He played the guitar and sang for the crowd.

Rick and Rose Turner had three children, all boys in their teens, and Rick Turner had two children from a previous marriage.

One of his grown sons stopped at the scene to talk with Reynalds on Friday. “That’s my dad up there,” he said, and began to cry. “I told him not to go there.”

Friends said Rick Turner was disabled. He had been involved in an accident when he was younger and suffered nerve damage, Calder resident Daina Oliver said.

“I think he was in a lot of pain,” Oliver said. “He lived with a lot of pain.”

Rose Turner was a hard worker, she said. Rose had worked at The Big Eddy, a resort downriver from Calder, and used to have a painting business, Oliver said.

Both Rick and Rose Turner enjoyed hunting, and Oliver said she believed that’s what attracted them to the area.

The couple lived in Calder before moving upriver.

Idaho State Police investigators processed the scene Friday.

Reynalds said he expects autopsies within 24 hours.

“This is uncommon, obviously, for us,” he said. “We don’t do that many homicides.”


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