Michael Turney Acquitted in Stepdaughter’s Presumed Murder
Michael Turney, the stepfather of Alissa Turney who disappeared in 2001 has been acquitted of murder charges related to her assumed death.
Michael Turney was facing murder charges in what many believe he is to be the main suspect in the teenagers 2001 disappearance. On Monday, a Maricopa County judge threw out the case and granted a motion from Turney’s counsel to acquit the defendant before the jury could make a verdict.
Turney ‘s defense requested the judge to issue an acquittal based on what they believe to be a lack of evidence that Michael killed Alissa. They claim there was sufficient evidence that she ran away.
Alissa’s family, who was in court at the time of the ruling were completely shocked by the defense’s request.
In 2001, seventeen-year-old Alissa went missing after attending her school day at Paradise Valley High School. Turney had reported her as a runaway, telling authorities that his stepdaughter had left a note detailing plans to go to California.
In 2008, new information was made aware of, and police opened an official criminal investigation into Alissa’s disappearance.
Police interviewed hundreds of people including Alissa’s coworkers, friends, and family.
During the investigation, a search warrant was issued on Turney residence. They were able to learn of a bombing plot, at that point he was brought into custody. Officials found 26 pipe bombs in his Phoenix home. Court records show that Turney took a plea deal and served 10 years in prison for the bombing plot, which was completely unrelated to Alissa’s disappearance.
Even though Alissa’s body has never been recovered. Turney was arrested in 2020 by Mesa police on second-degree murder charges in connection to Alissa’s presumed death.
During the court trial, Alissa’s sister Sarah, testified as a key witness detailing about Alissa’s troubled relationship with her stepfather Michael. Many of Alissa’s family believe Turney murdered her, including her biological father.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office released the following statement Monday afternoon:
“On May 17, 2001, Paradise Valley High School Junior Alissa Turney poked her head into her boyfriend’s woodshop class and said that her stepfather was taking her out of school early. This was the last time Alissa was heard from or seen by anyone. For more than 20 years, her family fought for justice and their perseverance is a testament to the love they had for Alissa. I am proud of the hard work by prosecutors and law enforcement on this case. While our office doesn’t agree with the Judge’s ruling today, we respect the decision of the court.”