Judge declares mistrial in SLO County fentanyl murder case

January 25, 2024

Brandi Turner

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

After jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict, a judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the SLO County murder case of a woman who sold fentanyl that killed a Templeton man. [Tribune]

While the jury convicted Brandi Turner, 50, of three drug offenses, jurors split 7-5 in favor of guilt on the charge of murder, prompting Judge Barry LaBarbera to declare a mistrial. 

On Oct. 27, 2022, a caller reported finding a body behind the old county animal services building on Oklahoma Avenue. Deputies identified the victim as 31-year-old Quinn Hall, who had died of a fentanyl overdose.

During their investigation, detectives discovered that shortly before Hall died, Turner allegedly sold him fentanyl, which led to his death. Deputies arrested Turner in May 2023.

Prosecutors charged Turner with murder, selling fentanyl, possession of fentanyl for sales and possession of methamphetamine. During her trial testimony last Wednesday, Turner admitted she sold Hall fentanyl on Oct. 26, 2022. 

Jurors began deliberations on Friday at about 2 p.m. On Monday, jurors said they reached unanimous verdicts on the three drug charges but could not reach a consensus on the murder charge. 

In response, Judge LaBarbera told the jury it was too early to declare a mistrial. LaBarbera instructed the jury to resume deliberations, encouraging jurors to keep an open mind as they digest all the information from the two-week trial. 

LaBarbera also told the jury it could consider whether Turner is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but only if jurors find the defendant not guilty of murder. When weighing the murder charge, jurors needed to determine whether the fentanyl sale caused Hall’s death and what Turner’s mindset was going into it. 

Following three days of deliberations, jurors said they could have reached a unanimous verdict on involuntary manslaughter, but they could not unanimously agree on convicting or acquitting Turner of murder. Juror Julie Jenkins said the big sticking point was whether Turner had a disregard for human life. 

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office must now decide whether to retry the murder case against Turner. 


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Defense attorneys in a jury trial always try to find at least one juror who cannot think for him or her self and is of low intellect and common sense. In this case they got five.


I feel bad for the family but no one is mentioning Quinn Hall sold drugs to 15 years olds in 2010. They wound up in the hospital and Hall only got 6 months in jail. I don’t see how second degree murder would even be appropriate. Hall was an addict and knew what he was doing. The definition of second degree murder is: “an intentional killing that lacks premeditation, intended to only cause bodily harm, and demonstrates an extreme indifference to human life.” Turner had texted Hall earlier the month he died telling him to stop using.


https://calcoastnews.com/2010/09/cal-poly-student-arrested-for-dealing-drugs-to-teens/


This is why drugs are the cancerous pandemic rotting American society. Five clueless jurors were unable to comprehend that drug dealers/suppliers are murderers and must be treated as such if our country and our citizens are to survive. Every single person involved in any part of the illicit drug supply chain, from the grower/producer to the Cartel kingpin to the street dealer and everyone in between, has blood on their hands.


I seriously question how anyone could come to the conclusion that a person dealing fentanyl illegally has the least bit of “regard” for human life. I have trouble imagining the point of the “legal” legal use of fentanyl in regard to human life. This is, IMHO, a product so dangerous that it should not exist.


My understanding, based on a recent conversation with an ER doc, is that pharmaceutical fentanyl is used frequently in a professional medical setting. Therefore, I take some issue with your last sentence.


I was at French Hospital last year and was served a fentanyl cocktail, it worked. No idea why people want to do that as a hobby.


Patients are prescribed fentanyl patches for chronic pain. It’s also used on ambulances for acute pain and trauma. It has valid uses where other analgesics are inadequate.


The outcome of legalized drugs. If you take the drug you are responsible for the consequences, even if unintended. Now if it were your child who died, you might not like this outcome while some may argue that you are responsible for raising you child so they don’t do stupid things?


This lady admitted selling the victim the fentanyl, he died from it, and the jury can’t figure out if she meant to kill him (murder her customer) or if it was an accident (involuntary manslaughter)? Whoever her defense attorney is sure knew how to pick and confuse a jury!

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All the defense attorney had to do minimize their client’s punishment was to get one or two dope smoking stoners seated on the jury to ensure that there wouldn’t be enough moral integrity and cognitive ability to reach the logical, just, and proper decision. In this case the defense hit the motherload of incognizant meatheads and was able to load the jury with five.