Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan Garrison announced on Monday that documents have been filed opposing the release of Robert Turner for the murder and sexual assault of Bridget Drobney.
The documents filed have the support of Garrison, former State’s Attorney Ed Rees and former State’s Attorney Vince Moreth.
Drobney was in Gillespie for a wedding in 1985. She was driving alone at night when she was pulled over by three men who had a red flashing light on their station wagon posing as police. She was raped and murdered in a cornfield.
Turner was subsequently arrested in July of 1985 and charged with first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and criminal sexual assault. A jury found him guilty of all offenses and Turner was sentenced to death.
The death sentence was commuted to life in prison by Gov. George Ryan in January of 2003. In early 2022, Turner filed a petition of executive clemency which has been set for hearing January 10, 2023.
In the letter for opposition, Ress who tried the case said, “the facts of the case are among the most tragic and heinous I have encountered. Turner is a cruel man without conscious who should never be returned to society.”
Moreth handled the penalty phase of the case and said Macoupin County citizens remember the crime as if it happened yesterday. “The 48,000 people of Macoupin County will not forget Turner and what he did, nor will the Drobney family,” he said.
Current State’s Attorney Garrison said the fear Turner instilled in the citizens of the county is still seen today saying the fear of traveling without a cell phone, the fear a cop was not a cop, and the fear of an act of violence that has never been seen in our communities prior. “When someone mentions the Drobney murder, you can still see the fear in the faces of those who lived through the terror,” Garrison concluded.
The clemency hearing is open to the public and is being held on January 10, 2023, at the Sadie Forum in Chicago.