Split verdict in 2016 St. Charles attempted murder case
A jury delivered a split verdict Friday night in the case of a St. Charles man accused of severely beating his then-wife and then shooting five times at her before a local school board president disarmed him.
Scott J. Turyna, 66, was found not guilty of attempted murder, but convicted of aggravated domestic battery causing great bodily harm and aggravated discharge of a firearm from a May 3, 2016, incident that began inside his former home on the 400 block of Hunt Club Drive on the city's east side.
He faces a prison term of four to 15 years when sentenced on March 23 and his bond was revoked. If convicted on all counts, he faced a punishment of 26 to 50 years in prison.
Turyna showed little emotion as the verdict was read but patted one of his attorneys on the shoulder afterward. Turyna's wife has since divorced him and she held hands with her daughter and a friend as the verdict was read.
The jury deliberated about 3.5 hours.
During the four-day trial presided over by Kane County Judge D.J. Tegeler, prosecutors presented evidence that Turyna was stressed about money since he had just retired and his day drinking had worsened. It all reached a boiling point after dinner, when he pummeled his wife inside their home, telling her this was the day she was going to die, prosecutors said.
Turyna knelt on his wife's arms while punching her in the face and bounced on her stomach area, still tender from an operation for bladder cancer treatment, before heading to the kitchen cabinet where a .38-caliber snub nose revolver was kept, according to testimony.
Bloodied and bruised, his wife escaped out the garage, rolling under the door as it opened and falling down at the end of the driveway near where neighbors Steve and Diane Spurling were walking their dog. Turyna emerged from the house, said his wife had fallen and should come inside and get cleaned up.
The woman told the Spurlings her husband was trying to kill her and had a gun, according to testimony. The woman began to walk away with Diane Spurling when Turyna began firing, prosecutors said. Steve Spurling testified he was trying to unlock his iPhone to call 9-1-1 when he heard the first shot and saw Turyna pointing the gun in the direction of the two women. Spurling chopped down on Turyna's arm, dislodging the gun and detaining him until police arrived.
Overall, five shots were fired. No one was hit, but one slug was lodged in the front porch area of a neighborhood home.
Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Greg Sams told jurors Turyna emptied his gun shooting at his wife, who has since divorced him, because he wanted to kill her. The woman suffered a concussion, broken shoulder, nose and finger and two black eyes.
After Turyna's arrest, prosecutors said Turyna told St. Charles police, "I did what I did because she got out of line."
"That's code for 'she had it coming,'" Sams told jurors in his closing argument, noting Turyna made another statement while being booked: "I hit her and I tried to shoot her so I guess it's going to be a felony."
Defense attorneys for Turyna argued that he had never abused his wife before, and if he really wanted to kill her, he would have done it inside the home or in the driveway.
Robert Motta said his client wanted to scare his wife, and that some of her injuries were caused by her hitting the garage door while trying to escape or falling on the driveway after she left the garage.
"It's a tough case. My client sits here as a shell of a man he once was," Motta said, adding Turyna was guilty only of misdemeanor battery and recklessly shooting into the air.