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Woman pleads no contest before murder trial in death of Jordan Turner

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, March 24, 2014, at 12:29 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 5:49 p.m.

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The woman that prosecutors say was behind the 2013 murder of former Wichita South High School football player Jordan Turner pleaded no contest Monday to a charge of felony first-degree murder.

Ebony Nguyen, 22, was scheduled to stand trial this week on a more serious charge of premeditated first-degree murder and a second count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

The plea agreement means Nguyen must serve 20 years on the murder conviction before she is eligible for parole. A conviction of premeditated murder would have resulted in a minimum 25-year term.

Prosecutors said Nguyen talked another man into shooting Turner to death because Turner had purchased $360 worth of marijuana from her with counterfeit bills.

Turner’s body was found in a field near Pawnee and 127th East on May 1, and a Crime Stoppers tip that night led to the arrest of three suspects, who were charged with Turner’s murder.

Prosecutor Robert Short said Turner and the three defendants spent the night of March 30, 2013, at Doc Howard’s in Old Town and that Nguyen realized after the group left the bar that Turner was the one who had cheated her in the marijuana deal.

Nguyen then drove the group to Harrison Park near Harry and Webb, where Nguyen discussed the plans with co-defendants Kristopher JaQuinton Wright, 21, and Eric M. Jackson, 22. A fourth person, Emily Spencer, 19, was with the group but did not take part in the conversation and was not charged, Short said.

Nguyen then drove the group to Pawnee and 127th East, where Jackson shot and wounded Turner, chased him into a field and then shot him again. Turner’s body was found a month later by a farmer.

“The car was cleaned, the evidence was burned, and none of the four occupants reported the shooting,” Short said.

Wright was convicted of first-degree murder by a jury in February and is awaiting sentencing. Jackson is awaiting trial.

Nguyen will be sentenced May 7 by District Judge Joseph Bribiesca.

Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or hlaviana@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @hlaviana.

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