Miss. high court lets murder conviction stand in Starkville case

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear an appeal from Derrick Turner who was convicted in the death of a 79-year-old Starkville woman.

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

The state Court of Appeals upheld Turner’s conviction last year.

Prosecutors say Juanita Miller was beaten to death in 2001 during a robbery at her home. Prosecutors say Turner set the house on fire to hide Miller’s death.

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

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