Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: Twenty years ago or more Rich Turner was shot six times with his own revolver and killed by a woman that came with him here from Oklahoma. He was in his trailer house on 10 acres in Placer County a few miles from Sierra College Boulevard and 193 north of Lincoln Newcastle Highway. Was she ever caught and what happened to her?
Submitted by: Goldwyn, Orangevale
ANSWER: Susan Michelle Greenberg pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the May 1987 shooting of 40-year-old Richard Turner.
According to stories in The Bee, Turner's nude body was found in the bedroom his Lincoln-area home. He had been shot six times.
Turner was described as a self-employed truck driver and auto body repairman who had moved to Lincoln from Oklahoma a few weeks before his death.
Greenberg, who was 20 at the time of the shooting, was sentenced in Placer Superior Court to 25 years in prison. But after serving 18 years behind bars, she became one of the first to benefit from a law enacted in California in 2002 that allows courts to reverse the convictions of women who killed their abusers before evidence of Battered Women's Syndrome was allowed in court.
Returning to court in 2006, she testified that she shot Turner after he had held her captive for a year, subjecting her to torture and rape. On the day she shot him, he had reportedly raped her and threatened to bury her in a shallow grave outside their mobile home.
According to news accounts, Placer Superior Court Judge J. Richard Couzens found that Greenberg had established that she was a victim of Battered Women's Syndrome. He reduced the murder charge to voluntary manslaughter, with a maximum prison sentence of 11 years. Because she had already served 18 years, she was immediately released.
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