Husband, wife plead guilty to 2013 burglary charges

Becky Campbell • Apr 29, 2014 at 10:33 PM

A Gray couple pleaded guilty in Washington County Criminal Court on Monday to a slew of home and auto burglaries and thefts that went along with those and attributed their behavior to drug use.

Matthew Turner, 30, and his wife, Ashley Turner, 30, were each sentenced to more than 20 years in prison, but the sentences for each crime will be served at the same time. That means each one actually received only a four-year sentence.

There was only one victim in the cases that both remembered. That was Ashley Turner’s mother. Ashley Turner admitted taking her mother’s house key off a key ring and using it to enter her mother’s home and taking jewelry without permission. Then Matthew Turner sold the gold for money they used to buy drugs.

Ashley Turner also took money and a business credit card from her mother and the couple used that card multiple times without permission.

The couple’s crime spree was spread out over several months last year between January and May. In most cases, Ashley Turner went into the homes and took items that she and her husband later sold.

During the plea hearing Monday, Ashley Turner expressed remorse for her actions.

But not everything the couple took was sold, they said.

“I felt so bad about it after I woke up. I took almost every bit of it back and put it in her mailbox,” she said about one victim.

Judge Robert Cupp asked her why she didn’t knock on the victim’s door and hand the property back.

“I didn’t want to get shot,” she said.

“I’ve got a serious drug problem,” Ashley Turner said about why she stole from her mother and people she didn’t know.

Assistant District Attorney General Robin Ray told Cupp the state was well aware of the couple’s drug problem and said they met while in drug treatment out west.

Cupp asked the two if they had drugs in their system, and both said they did. He ordered them tested on the spot and both were positive for opiates.

“This is mind boggling. You come in here and plead guilty with that in your system and that’s what got you into this in the first place,” Cupp said.

Cupp did not rule on whether or not the Turners will be granted probation after the plea. The couple will remain free on bond until a sentencing hearing in May.

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