Appeals Court upholds conviction in death of woman

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The state Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Derrick Turner in the slaying of a 79-year-old Starkville woman in 2001.

Turner was convicted of capital murder in Oktibbeha County in 2008 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors say Juanita Miller was beaten to death during a robbery at her home. Prosecutors say Turner set the house on fire to hide Miller’s death.

The Appeals Court on Tuesday rejected Turner’s attack on the testimony of a co-defendant in Miller’s slaying. Turner argued the testimony was unreliable and contradictory.

The court said it was up to the jury to decide whether the co-defendant’s testimony was believable.