EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMan Sentenced For 14-Year-Old Charleston Cold Case
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Aug. 29, 2013 6:06 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 30, 2013 7:14 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A 14-year-old cold case is closed with the sentencing of the man responsible for the violent murder of a Charleston woman.
In 1999, Terry Clark, 41, was found beaten, strangled, and naked along Route 119 in Roane County. For more than a decade, Charleston Police worked to find her killer, but it was thanks to a DNA hit that Daniel Turner, 46, was finally found. On Thursday, he apologized for a crime he said he is relieved to be paying for.
"I apologized to the family, but there ain't nothing I can do to bring Terry back," Turner said during his hearing.
Turner told the court he knew he had one day have to answer for the murder.
"I prayed about it a long time. This has never left my mind. As far as sitting back and waiting, I guess I just could not bring myself to say, 'Somebody needs to call the law because I murdered someone,' " he said.
Late last year, as he sat in a Memphis, Tennessee jail cell for other crimes, his DNA was a positive hit for Clark's murder. Strangled with a shoe lace inside her Charleston apartment, her naked body was dumped about 30 miles away in Walton.
Over the years, suspects were questioned and let go leaving her family thinking they may never see justice.
"We didn't think it would ever be solved so this gives us the ability to just let it rest and move on," Clark's cousin, Sally Burger, said.
Turner told investigators he believed Clark had set him up to be robbed, but he did not make mention of that during the hearing. Instead, he took responsibility but says his intentions were not to kill anyone that night.
"For the most part, I hate that a life was taken and I did it," Turner said.
Clark's father died without ever knowing who killed his daughter. Something her family says he would be at peace with knowing Thursday.
"The fact that he took someone that we loved who was precious to us away, and that now he has to pay the cost for that is satisfaction to our family. That's enough," Burger said.
Judge James Stucky sentenced Turner to 30 years for second degree murder. He could have faced up to 40 years.
He will get credit for 146 days he's already served on the charge. He's also serving a federal sentence on unrelated charges. His new sentence will run concurrent with that one.
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