The Justice Files: Love affair never warranted murder

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Michelle Turner was cornered.

In 1996, she had an affair with a co-worker.  Turner tried to end it but it cost her her life.

“On January 16, 1996, Michelle was taken from us and our lives was forever changed,” said her husband Alan Turner. 

The attack by Aleksandre Mallaev on the 22-year old was sudden and with such viscousness that it killed Turner instantly.  

“He continued to stab her and stab her,” said Turner’s mother Bonnie Goodrich.  “And when that knife broke, he got another knife to make sure he was done with what he did.”

Watching was the daughter of Turner’s friend.  She was 13-years-old.  Turner’s infant daughter was also present.

According to court records, the teen heard Turner say “please Alex, no more.” 

But he responded with a knife, stabbing her in the neck.  Newspapers accounts claimed neighbors heard “screaming, crying and a thud.”

Mallaev was charged with Turner’s murder.  The motive was jealousy, according to prosecutors.

Authorities at the times said Turner had an affair with Mallaev but she tried to break it off.  A spokesman for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Turner tried to end the relationship and was helping Mallaev move into the apartment in an attempt to lessen the hurt.

Even after 25 years, Turner’s husband remained unforgiving towards Mallaev.

“He made sure she was dead,” said Turner. “He did this all-in front of Laura, her teen-age daughter and Michelle’s infant daughter,  Cherokee who was 8 months old at the time.”

During his trial, Mallaev’s defense attorney claimed he was pushed to the “brink of insanity” and it created “emotional distress.”  But a jury doesn’t buy it.  

In 1997 a judge sentenced Malleav to a minimum of five years and up to life in prison.

It never eased the pain for Turner’s family.

“Michelle was my wife, my first true love the mother of my kids and my friend,” he said. “She’s affected many lives in her absence and it affects us all to this day.”

Before her death, Michelle Turner took a picture of her two daughters together.  It was the last picture she ever took. The then six-year old Tiffany is now married with children and sent the following messing to ABC4 in an email.

She wrote: “I miss my mom terribly and wish that I had more time with her. I wish that she was able to help me with the normal mother-daughter things and also help me be a mother to my baby.”

His wife’s murder haunts Alan Turner.  He said his heart was and is still broken over her death.  He said his children were cheated because he could not be “the father he should have been for his daughters.”

As for Alan’s relationship with his wife, he forgives her but not Mallaev.

“I forgave her a long time ago,” he said.  “Nothing she ever did warranted what happened that day.  She made a mistake that resulted in the loss of her life.”

As for Mallaev, he never spoke about the murder.  But that changed during his recent parole hearing.  Thursday, Mallaev explained what happened July 16,1996.

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