Judge refuses to throw out murder case against Ivelis Turell
TRENTON – A judge has refused to toss out the murder case against Ivelis Turell, ruling against defense arguments that the prosecution didn’t prove its case against the suspected boyfriend shooter.
Mercer County Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez made the decision after Assistant Prosecutor Skylar Weissman rested the state’s case and defense lawyer Steve Slaven said not enough evidence was introduced to convict Turell of murdering Michael Whitaker on April 30, 2007.
The decision came after Investigator James Joyce, a veteran firearms examiner for the state, said the 9mm handgun that killed Whitaker would not go off with a light touch, nor when dropped to the floor.
Part of the Turell defense is that Whitaker’s Pennyslvania-purchased Ruger seemed to go off too easily.
Among the sometimes conflicting stories she has told detectives is that her six-year-old touched the gun and it went off and that it accidentally fired to wound her in the seconds after it went off and shot Whitaker that night at their Ferry Street home.