- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 4, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS — A man suspected of killing seven family members he thought kept large amounts of money in their home surrendered to police yesterday, police said.

More than 100 police officers searched for Desmond Turner, including unsuccessful raids at two houses, shortly after the Thursday slayings.

Turner, 28, grew up near where the shooting occurred and had returned last fall after being released from prison following a 3-year term for drug and weapons charges.

Deputy Chief Tim Foley of criminal investigation said investigators put pressure on people who knew Turner to ensure that they wouldn’t take him in.

“He didn’t turn himself in out of remorse. He turned himself in because he had no place to go,” he said.

Turner, accompanied by a few family members, surrendered about 7 p.m. at a downtown fast-food restaurant, Chief Foley said. He was booked on seven counts of murder.

On Friday, police arrested the second suspected triggerman, James Stewart, 30, after a traffic stop. He was being held yesterday on a preliminary charge of murder, police said.

“Indianapolis can sleep a lot easier tonight,” Deputy Police Chief Clifford Myers said.

Chief Foley said police think the suspects targeted the home for robbery after hearing exaggerated accounts of money and other valuables inside. Those accounts were “fiction,” he said.

Mourners laid flowers and handmade memorials along the fence of the modest home where the family was found slain.

The victims were identified as Emma Valdez, 46; her husband, Alberto Covarrubias, 56; their sons Alberto Covarrubias, 11, and David Covarrubias, 8 or 9; Mrs. Valdez’s daughter, Flora Albarran, 22; Miss Albarran’s 5-year-old son, Luis; and Miss Albarran’s brother Magno Albarran, 29.

Maria Flores, whose sister was killed, stood quietly as police briefed the journalists about Turner’s surrender.

“We are very relieved and thankful that he made the right decision,” she said. “I just hope God forgives him for what he did.”

Neighbors, friends and others whose emotions were touched by the city’s worst mass killing in 25 years left flowers, ribbons, candles, dozens of stuffed animals and an angel statue along a sidewalk in front of the family’s house.

Adults and children, many in tears, streamed through nearby Thomas D. Gregg Elementary, where David and Alberto had attended classes, to speak with grief counselors yesterday.

“The boys were very respectful of the school, good students and well-behaved,” Principal Les Durbin told the Indianapolis Star. “They were very well-respected by their classmates and their parents were very involved in their education.”


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