Crime

Conway man pleads guilty to murder of parents at Myrtle Beach hotel

Alexander Gray Turner
Alexander Gray Turner

A man who killed his parents in a Myrtle Beach hotel pleaded guilty to murder Monday.

Alexander Gray Turner, 23, of of Conway, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder Monday and received a sentence of 47 years in prison, according to the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

The sentence will be a day for a day with no “good time,” the release said.

Turner and his girlfriend Chelsi Lelia Griffin, 19, each were charged in March with two counts of murder in the death of Turner’s parents, Carrie Daley Turner, 52, and Steven Gray Turner, 61, of Durham, N.C.

Turner pleaded guilty to killing his parents at the Landmark Resort in Myrtle Beach on March 6, the solicitor’s office said.

“My heart goes out to the friends and family members of the Turners in their time of loss,” said 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson. “Nothing will ever be able to make this horrible event right.”

Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard said the Turners, whose bodies were found in a room at the Landmark Hotel on Ocean Boulevard, died from gunshot wounds.

At a bond hearing in March, Turner told Myrtle Beach Municipal Court Chief Judge Jennifer Wilson he recently moved to the area to complete a rehabilitation program. Bail for Turner was set at $50,000 for the charge possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Turner told Wilson that he originally came to the area for a PTSD rehabilitation clinic through the Wilmington Treatment Center. He said he had graduated from the program recently and moved in with Griffin – who he referred to as his girlfriend – at The Cove apartments near Coastal Carolina University.

Prior to living with Griffin, Turner said he was living in a halfway house in North Myrtle Beach, he said. Turner also said he was unemployed and requested a public defender.

When Wilson asked if he had any questions about bond, Turner replied, “I have the evidence to show my innocence in this whole case.”

Days before the couple’s bodies were found their son had been stopped in Surfside Beach and charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to records with J. Reuben Long Detention Center. He was released on $3,592.50 bail. Surfside Beach police charged Griffin with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana, according to Horry County’s Public Index.

A Surfside Beach police officer reported seeing a vehicle sitting next to a gas station at Fifth Avenue North and U.S. 17 Wednesday with two people inside who “appeared to be lost; they were talking and pointing in a manner that appeared to be a discussion about the direction of travel.”

The officer approached and smelled “very strong odor of marijuana,” according to the report. Officers ordered Turner and Griffin out of the vehicle and noticed guns. Griffin’s driver’s license also was suspended in Virginia.

In the affidavit filed with the murder charges, Myrtle Beach police said that they learned Alexander Turner and Griffin were at the hotel and tried to extend the stay of the room, but it was denied by Landmark staff. Soon after, the couple was seen leaving the hotel in Turner’s parents’ vehicle, a 2015 Kia Optima.

Police also learned that credit cards belonging to Turner’s parents were used Friday after their bodies were discovered in the room, according to the affidavit.

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