Man already facing homicide charges indicted in robbery

From staff reports

A former Cochranton man already facing two homicide charges in Crawford County has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie in connection with a robbery in Erie a few hours after the killings, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady announced Wednesday.

Jack Elijah Turner

The indictment in the robbery case names Jack Elijah Turner, 21, as the sole defendant.

The indictment presented to the court says that on Aug. 11, Turner robbed a Kwik Fill gas station at 3360 West 38th St. in Erie at gunpoint. He stole close to $1,000 in cash in the robbery in the early-morning hours of Aug. 11, the indictment says.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case .

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Pennsylvania State Police and Millcreek Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in the case, Brady said.

Meanwhile, Turner was held for court in Crawford County earlier this month on two counts of homicide in the killings of Shannon Whitman, 49, and her 10-year-old son, Darrin Whitman, at their Guys Mills home on Aug. 10.

Shannon Whitman, who is Turner’s stepmother, and Darrin Whitman, who is Turner’s half-brother, were found dead in their home on Highway 198.

Reports have indicated that the Whitmans were both shot once in the head.

Meadville state police said that when the bodies were found, it was also discovered that a 2009 silver colored Lincoln MKS sedan, two guns and several other items had been stolen.

Turner was charged with a felony count of theft by unlawful taking of movable property for stealing the Lincoln, in addition to other charges, according to a criminal complaint filled by Meadville state police.

A three-day manhunt ensued after the incidents in Guys Mills and Erie during which Turner was sighted several times in St. John’s County, Florida, near St. Augustine, according to the St. John’s County sheriff’s office.

Turner was taken into custody shortly after 1 p.m. Aug. 14 without incident at the Greyhound bus station in Charleston, West Virginia, according to Charleston police.

He was extradited to Crawford County on Aug. 28 and arraigned before district judge Rita Marwood on Oct. 7 on the homicide charges.

Turner’s Crawford County case has now moved to the Court of Common Pleas for further proceedings.