A 21-year-old Baton Rouge man accused of fatally shooting two CarQuest Auto Parts employees just 11 days after the company hired him was indicted Thursday on two counts of first-degree murder.
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury charged Lee Turner Jr. in the March 27 slaying of Randy Chaney, 55, of Greenwell Springs, and Edward Gurtner III, 43, of Denham Springs, at the CarQuest store, 11206 Airline Highway, near Siegen Lane.
Family members of the slain workers have said they want prosecutors to seek the death penalty.
“No formal declaration has been made, but I would anticipate that’s the avenue we will take,’’ District Attorney Hillar Moore III said shortly after the indictment was returned.
Turner, 5111 Ritterman Ave., told investigators his initial motive was robbery, but he wound up killing Chaney and Gurtner because one of the men recognized him, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux has said. Turner, who was hired March 16, worked at CarQuest locations on Government Street and Plank Road, the sheriff said.
Gautreaux noted that investigators developed Turner as a person of interest after another CarQuest employee said Turner had been at the Airline Highway store earlier that day. That employee, whose identity was not released, left before Turner returned to the store that afternoon, the sheriff stated.
Authorities searched Turner’s home and found bank receipts and clothing from the auto parts store, he said.
Turner showed up for work March 28 at the Government Street location, Gautreaux said. He was there when authorities picked him up for questioning.
At first, Turner said he had nothing to do with the slayings of Chaney and Gurtner, the sheriff said.
But when investigators told him they had searched his home and found evidence that tied him to the crime, Turner confessed, he said.
Turner threw the gun he used in the slayings in a canal behind the store, Gautreaux said. Investigators recovered the weapon, he said.
Chaney’s wife has said Chaney normally worked at the store on Staring Lane but all CarQuest employees took turns filling in on Sundays at the Airline store, which was managed by Gurtner.
Turner’s case has been assigned to state District Judge Richard Anderson.
Turner is being held without bond.