Jurors split on murder charge over SLO County fentanyl death

January 23, 2024

Brandi Turner


San Luis Obispo County jurors split on whether or not to convict a woman of murder for selling fentanyl that killed a Templeton man, but a judge has thus far refused to declare a mistrial. [Tribune]

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, Brandi Turner, 50, 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 on 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 Barry LaBarbera told the jury it is too early to declared 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 can 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 must determine whether the fentanyl sale caused Hall’s death and what Turner’s mindset was going into it. 

Sign up for breaking news, alerts and updates with Cal Coast News Top Stories.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That bottle of bleach under my sink is still there. Good to know that when I decide to drink it I can just blame someone else. Who though? The manufacturer? The store who sold it to me? Maybe the delivery guy.

He made a choice.

I’m all for personal responsibility but it goes both ways. If a person sells an illegal substance “fentanyl, known to cause death in minute amounts” to someone who may or may not have known what it was and dies because of it.

She knowingly sold him fentanyl, that caused his death, and admitted to it.

Hey jurors wake up, this isn’t rocket science. If she hadn’t sold it to him he wouldn’t have died from using it.

Interesting logic JThomas. Does this also apply to criminal gun violence? Gun shops should be held liable when they sell a weapon or ammo used in a crime?

Interesting logic for you AG_Fella. Its not illegal to buy and possess guns. As a matter of fact I have a CCW which allows me to carry a carry a concealed weapon. Gun shops have to follow the laws before selling weapons to just anyone who walks in the door.

Not exactly the same. When selling a gun, it is possible that the purchaser is going to use it for appropriate purposes of protection or hunting, as legally allowed. Fentanyl, which is highly addictive, is definitely going into the purchaser or an associate’s body. It is quite well known that the slightest misuse very often results in a lethal outcome. This is the reason it is so strictly regulated. Anyone illegally dealing such a highly toxic substance for profit knows they are putting personal profit above their customers lives.