2 suspects accused in California doctor’s death indicted by grand jury

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two of the suspects accused in the homicide of a California doctor were indicted by the Grand Jury Thursday. According to court documents, Kelsey Turner, 25, and Jon Logan Kennison, 27, were indicted on the charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder with use of a deadly weapon in a person 60 years or older.

Metro Police said in March 2019 the two had a hand in 71-year-old Thomas Burchard’s death. Diana Nicole Pena was also named as a suspect, but she was not indicted Friday.

Burchard’s body was found near Lake Mead on March 7.  The Clark County Coroner said Burchard, who was from Salinas, California, died from blunt force injuries to his head.

Everything unfolded on March 7, when someone called 9-1-1 to report a 2017 Mercedes Benz C300 with California plates parked in the desert area of State Route 147 (Lake Mead Boulevard) near mile marker 14 in eastern Clark County.

The car looked suspicious because it was along a dirt road and the windows were rolled down, but there wasn’t anyone in the car.

When law enforcement officers arrived and ran the car’s plates, it was registered out of San Francisco, and the vehicle had not been reported stolen. The warrant report said the car was in Turner’s possession because she took over the payments, but it was registered under someone else’s name.

When officers opened the trunk, they saw clothes and bedding all over it, but they also detected a foul odor, the warrant report said.  When the clothes were moved around, officers found a body part.

On the front passenger seat, Metro Police detectives found blue latex gloves and remnants of small defects or tears to the headliner. There was also blood on the driver’s seat headrest and in the backseat, along with small defects of tears to the headliner, the warrant said.

They also found prints, swabs of possible DNA, clothing with blood on it, Burchard’s vest and house keys, and a Caesars Palace employee card for Diana Pena.  Metro said it looked like someone tried to clean up evidence in the car.

The body in the trunk was soon identified as that of Burchard.

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