On Friday December 27, Stanley Harrison attended a probable cause hearing in which it was to be determined whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial in the stabbing death of Harrison’s 23-year-old girlfriend, Shandar Turner. Judge Richard Conlin found there was sufficient evidence to proceed forward; Harrison is charged with open murder in the September stabbing death of Turner, who had two young children according to news reports at Heritage.com.
Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Blake Hatlem said in his summary statement to Judge Conlin at the closing of the preliminary exam that one of the victim’s children stated that “Stan cut mommy with a knife.” A Michigan State Police forensic specialist also testified that a bloody shoe print at the scene where Turner was murdered matched bloody shoes taken from the defendant following his September 27 arrest. Harrison’s attorney, Walter White, alleged that the forensic specialist could not conclusively state the two were a match because she was not sufficiently experienced or certified to make such an assumption.
Detective Thomas Sinks testified that the crime scene was horrific, with substantial amounts of blood in the kitchen, bathroom, and on the back door of the victim’s home. Turner had 11 stab wounds to her neck, torso, arms, and scalp according to Jeffrey Jentzen, Washtenaw County Chief Medical Examiner. Jentzen testified that the victim also suffered a puncture to her left lung and one to her spleen which in his opinion were fatal wounds.
Harrison alleges that he and Turner were romantically involved, and that they became engaged in a domestic dispute in which he ultimately felt threatened by Turner after he rebuffed her romantic advances, which included her cutting his boxer shorts off with scissors. He further stated that both accused the other of infidelity, and that the fight escalated.
Harrison’s next hearing date is scheduled for February 10.
Charges of open murder in the state of Michigan are serious; a defendant may be charged with first- or second-degree murder, a decision made by jurors. Individuals who are convicted of first-degree murder may face punishment which includes life in prison. Second-degree murder will leave a convicted defendant facing any number of years to life in prison. All types of murder which are not committed during the course of a crime such as carjacking, arson, or robbery, or which is not considered premeditated, fall under second-degree murder.
Regardless, murder is a serious criminal offense which requires the legal support and guidance of an aggressive, highly qualified Michigan criminal defense attorney.