'I was begging for my life': Woman says ex-husband beat her before shooting at her

Updated 1/31/2018 6:58 PM
  • Scott J. Turyna faces a minimum prison term of 26 years if convicted of attempted murder and shooting at his now ex-wife.

    Scott J. Turyna faces a minimum prison term of 26 years if convicted of attempted murder and shooting at his now ex-wife.

After Scott Turyna retired in April 2016 from his corrugated cardboard sales job, his daytime drinking became more severe, as did his concern over money. That and tensions with his wife as she was recovering from bladder cancer surgery erupted on May 3, 2016, when he pummeled her, threatened her life and later fired at her outside before he was disarmed, according to prosecutors and testimony Wednesday.

The attempted murder trial for Turyna, 66, formerly of St. Charles, continued Wednesday with his now ex-wife tearfully testifying about Turyna's drinking and attacking her after they had dinner at their Hunt Club Drive home.

After dinner and a somewhat tense afternoon, Turyna told his wife he was going to "beat the (snot)" out of her.

The next thing she knew, she testified, she was on the floor, having been hit with a punch to the left side of her head and eye.

"He was kneeling on my arms, sitting on my abdomen, punching me in the face," she testified, recalling Turyna as saying, "Today is the day you're going to die. It's going to end right here."

Turyna punched her numerous times, bounced on her stomach where she had surgery 11 months before, and gripped her hair like a handle to smash her head on the floor.

"I was begging for my life," she recalled.

Eventually, he got off her to grab a gun from the kitchen, but she fled out the garage, meeting Steve and Diane Spurling, who were walking their dog outside.

Turyna tried to get his wife to come back inside. She began to walk away with Diane Spurling when he pulled a gun and opened fire.

Steve Spurling, then president of the St. Charles District 303 school board, tackled Turyna, knocking the gun away and detaining him until police arrived, according to trial testimony.

A neighbor who was an off-duty DuPage County sheriff's deputy heard the shots as she was eating dinner and went to the scene. Kristen Grossi saw a detained Turyna sitting on the ground with blood on his hands. After she asked if he was OK and what happened, he angrily said, "I did it" and "I did what I did," she testified.

Defense attorney Alison Motta suggested Turyna's ex-wife wanted a divorce and exaggerated some of her injuries. Motta also noted discrepancies in the woman's Wednesday's testimony compared to her initial statement to police. For example, she told police Turyna threw her down during the attack, and her account lacked statements about Turyna saying he wanted to kill her.

The woman acknowledged she may have been "confused" when police interviewed her at the hospital but that she was concussed and on pain medications.

"I was severely beaten. I had head injuries," said the woman, whose testimony will continue Thursday.

If convicted of attempted murder and firing at his ex-wife, Turyna faces up to 50 years in prison.

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