Another cop says Turell admitted shooting her boyfriend
By Paul Mickle
TRENTON – Another Trenton cop testified today that Ivelis Turell admitted to him that she shot her boyfriend after blaming her six-year-old son for the fatal gunning on April 30, 2007.
Detective Scott Peterson said Turell made the admission at a city hospital not long after telling him from the stoop of her Ferry Street home that her little boy “Eddie” had accidentally shot Michael Whitaker.
The victim was shot dead with his own gun, an apparently hair-triggered 9mm Ruger that Turell told police at least three different stories about in the hours after the shooting that night at 10:42, following a day of argument about the weapon being in the house.
In a 911 audio tape played in court, Turell can be heard in hysterics telling the operator that she shot Whitaker upstairs in their bedroom in a tussle for the silver handgun. She then admits accidentally shooting herself.
Minutes later, according to testimony from the first cop on the scene, Turell told street officers the little boy had gotten the gun and it accidentally went off, hitting Whitaker in the shoulder with a slug that passed into his chest.
One cop went upstairs to find the accused shooter and his little brother asleep in bed.
Peterson, the duty detective that night, said he never realized Turell has been shot and wasn’t questioning the story about the boy while talking to her outside the house. Twenty minutes later in the hospital, Peterson said, Turell told him she alone was holding the gun when it fired at Whitaker.
“I was in possession of the gun,” Peterson cites the woman as telling him in his report on the case. With that, the detective said, he advised her of rights, told her she’d be charged and turned the case over to top homicide investigator Detective Edgar Rios.
With Whitaker in the same hospital near death, Peterson said Turell told him: “When I realized I shot him I freaked out. I was carrying the gun and it went off again.”
The bullet hit the ceiling and then bounced back into her shoulder.
There’s at least a germ of truth in the story about little Eddie and the gun. Some weeks before the killing, the boy had gotten a hold of the gun and it went off. A city cop told Whitaker to get rid of it, and relatives and friends of Turell told her to leave him.
Testimony resumes Thursday before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez.