Winnipeg Police officers Loren Schinkel and Jim Thiessen questioned Monique Turenne for 8 hours the night before her husband's funeral. She was roughly treated while in custody. When she would not confess, they manufactured a nine page statement which they presented as authentic to Florida authorities. If she was tried in Canada she would be able to challenge this forgery.
WINNIPEG (CP) - The widow of David Turenne admitted to police she set up her husband for an assault that turned deadly, say documents obtained by the Winnipeg Sun.
The Canadian Air Force major was bludgeoned to death Feb. 9 in front of the couple's rented home in Panama City, Florida.
In a statement to Winnipeg police hours before her husband's funeral on Feb. 15, Monique Turenne admitted to luring her husband outside the home where her boyfriend, Ralph Crompton, was waiting.
Turenne has been charged by Florida police with being an accessory after the fact and faces a five-year prison term if she returns to Florida to stand trial.
She has said she won't return and Florida officials have not initiated extradition proceedings.
Police have charged Crompton with first-degree murder.
Both tried to commit suicide after the warrants were issued.
A summary of top world news Monday, Nov. 25, 1996 PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) -- Ralph Crompton, a retired U.S. air force master sergeant, received a life term in prison for the claw-hammer slaying of his lover's husband, Maj. David Turenne of Winnipeg. The judge rejected requests from prosecutors and the victim's family that Crompton be executed. Defence lawyers say they will appeal.
Prosecutors argued Friday that 41-year-old Ralph Crompton should be sentenced to die in the electric chair for the Feb. 9 beating death of a Canadian Air Force major.
Defense attorneys, citing Crompton's military record and nonviolent history, countered that Crompton should receive the only alternative sentence - life in prison.
"He's a good man. He did a bad act," defense attorney John O'Brien said. "He is a good man. We are not here to judge the act."
Crompton was convicted Oct. 15 of the first-degree murder of 42-year-old David Turenne, who was bludgeoned to death in front of his Forest Park home.
Circuit Judge Glenn Hess will consider Friday's testimony and will sentence Crompton on Nov. 25.
During the trial, defense attorneys maintained that it was actually David Turenne's wife, Monique, who killed her husband. But they conceded that Crompton and David Turenne had gotten into a scuffle the morning of the murder.
Crompton also testified during trial that he and Monique Turenne were having an affair at the time of David Turenne's death.
Authorities previously said they intend to charge Monique Turenne, who remains in her native Canada, with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. During the trial, two detectives testified that she remained a suspect in her husband's death.
Amid allegations that two jurors were coerced by the foreman to return a guilty verdict, Hess dismissed the jury on Oct. 17, and later denied the defense's motion for a new trial.
Crompton then waived his right for a second jury to be seated for the sentencing phase, leaving his fate entirely up to Hess.
Friday, several witnesses testified that Crompton, a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant, was a dedicated soldier and a compassionate man.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. George Waldron described Crompton as a man who would "lean forward in the straps" - an Air Force expression describing someone who makes personal sacrifices for his comrades.
Four former colleagues described how Crompton calmly and competently led soldiers in military operations in Colombia, Peru, Rwanda and Egypt.
"When you talk about being a man out of control, that was totally out of character," Waldron said, referring to testimony during the trial that Crompton viciously beat David Turenne to death.
During sometimes emotional testimony, 20-year-old Mandie Crompton, the oldest of four children, said her father was fair and affectionate, and called him a "softy" who did not like confrontation at home.
During the questioning, Mandie Crompton periodically glanced at her father. Twice, Ralph Crompton winked back.
"I couldn't ask for a better father," Mandie said as she tried to hold back tears.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Larry Basford used the testimony of Crompton's colleagues to argue that the murder was premeditated and that Crompton carried it out meticulously.
Basford also said prosecutors had proved the beating death was "heinous, atrocious and cruel" - aggravating circumstances which would warrant the death penalty.
"That's what happened in this case, (Crompton) was not a soldier on a mission. He was an assassin on a mission," Basford said.
O'Brien argued that the mitigating circumstances, including Crompton's military service and his calm and compassionate nature, outweighed the aggravating circumstances.
O'Brien also cited Crompton's accolades - Air Force Achievement Medals, Meritorious Service Awards and recognition as Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, the highest honor an NCO can receive.
"We are here specifically to judge the man and his past and his character," O'Brien said.
Before the morning's proceedings, a handful of family and friends rallied in support of Crompton in front of the Bay County Courthouse.
"My father didn't get a fair trial," Mandie Crompton said. "There was so much reasonable doubt."
The family believes that Ralph Crompton has taken the blame for a crime committed by Monique Turenne, Mandie Crompton said.
"My father didn't cause the blows that caused the death of David Turenne," she said, while holding a bright pink sign reading "Crompton got an unfair trial."
A few passing cars honked in support of the protesters.
"(Ralph Crompton) might be going to prison or the electric chair. That's forever. That's forever for my father, for my family," she said. "He won't be there for the rest of our lives."
Monique Turenne's Canadian attorney Wednesday night said his client will fight extradition to stand trial for first-degree murder in the Feb. 9 homicide of her husband.
A Bay County Grand Jury heard from witnesses - including co- defendant and convicted murderer Ralph Crompton - throughout the day Wednesday. They took only eight minutes to return the indictment.
"Well, in short, she's not guilty," said Turenne's Winnipeg attorney, Greg Brodsky. "So why should she agree to go to Florida?
"They have an obligation to prove that my client did something. They know very well that my client didn't."
The indictment charges Turenne with first-degree murder for striking her husband, Canadian Armed Forces Maj. David Turenne, "with a blunt object" outside their Panama City home.
State Attorney Jim Appleman said he is prepared for a long extradition battle, since Canadian courts historically are hesitant to grant extradition in capital offenses.
"Patience is a virtue in the criminal justice system," he said. "If it's necessary, we're prepared to wait for two years."
Appleman noted that Crompton is serving a life sentence for his part in the homicide. At his trial, Crompton admitted fighting with the victim, but said Monique Turenne struck the fatal blow to her husband's head.
"When you have two or more people involved in a criminal act, both are responsible if they intended for the event to happen and they knew what was going to happen," Appleman said. "And that's what the grand jury found today by the charges."
If the death penalty becomes an issue, he said he will consider not seeking it.
"I can tell you this," he said. "If it would be necessary to bring the individual back, then we have discussed the possibility of waiving the penalty in light of the penalty on the co-defendant."
Brodsky was critical of the grand jury process, saying he was only notified of it by the media and learned of the indictment through the media.
"I'd be in a different position if they had notified me there was a grand jury proceeding and if I had some input into what the grand jury would hear," he said. "It's like gossip at a bar. If you only hear one side... it's inevitable what the results are going to be and it's also inevitable that the results will be wrong."
He said the state's failure to notify him leaves him wondering "what the real reason for the proceeding is if they're allowing the newspaper to notify me as opposed to them."
"Justice is done by the submission of evidence, not by seeing who can get the bigger headline," he said. "It's not the Academy Awards - this is a murder case. I'm not exactly hard to get a hold of."
Turenne spoke with Panama City investigators the morning of her husband's death, but later in the day declined to answer further questions and sought an attorney's advice before returning to her native Winnipeg.
But in a Feb. 15 handwritten statement given to the Winnipeg Police Service and obtained by The News Herald , Turenne admits to coaxing her husband outside the home so that Crompton could "show him what it was like to be pushed around."
Turenne admitted to Winnipeg police that she and Crompton were romantically involved. Both, she said, were unhappy with their spouses.
She described her husband as "an alcoholic, very opinionated and to be honest, we were experiencing some problems with sex ..."
"My husband was not a romantic person," she wrote. "If there was a deal like to go out drinking with the boys or stay with me, the boys came first ... There was just this total lack of closeness, you know."
"Did this lack of intimacy bother you?" she was asked.
'Of course it did. Wouldn't it, like, bother you?"
She said Crompton talked of leaving his wife, but she had no intention of leaving her husband: "I just didn't see it going anywhere," she said of her relationship with Crompton.
When police asked if she and Crompton ever talked about leaving their spouses so they could live together, she replied, "If you leave your spouse in the states, then you can't stay there anymore because of that military situation. It's their regulations, it's kind of frowned upon, divorce and stuff."
Turenne said Crompton did not like the way David Turenne was treating Monique Turenne, and that it came to a head the Tuesday before David Turenne was killed.
Monique Turenne said her son was "assaulted" by a neighbor's grandson - "the kid's a bully" she wrote - and she confronted the boy's grandmother.
The grandmother, Turenne wrote, pushed her twice, with the second push knocking her against the garage door.
When she told her husband about it, however, she didn't like his response.
"He was so nonchalant about it, just said it served me right and that I didn't have a leg to stand on."
"Did his reaction upset you?" she was asked.
"Of course, I would have expected more," she replied.
'Did Ralph know about this assault on your person?"
'I think it was the next day that Ralph called me from out of town and I told him what happened," she replied. "It broke the camel's back, eh? He said that he was going to come in that night and have a word with David, show him what it felt like to get pushed around."
"Did you understand that to mean that Ralph intended to have a physical confrontation with David?"
Two days later, Turenne said, Ralph called her and told her he would be by her house that night. When he was in the area, he called her and "asked me to get out of the house so he could talk to David and I said no because of the kids. So he said, then get him out and he'd wait for him outside."
"I said that shouldn't be much of a problem and that's when he said something like, 'He won't know it's me.' "
"What did you think Ralph meant by that last statement… that he wouldn't know it was him?"
"I figured he meant he was going to do it in a dark place or that, you know, he was going to disguise himself because, like, David would be able to recognize him."
"Did he say where he planned to confront David once he got outside?"
"Not really, but he said something like he was going to show him what it felt like, you know, to get pushed into the garage door."
In the statement, Turenne said she knew her husband had an upset stomach, so she suggested he go to the store to get some medicine for it. She said she did not know where Ralph would confront her husband.
"I didn't know, like, if it would be on his way out or when he got back, but I knew he'd be waiting out there for him," she said.
Turenne said once her husband left, she went into her son's room and did not hear anything from outside. A few hours later, she said, Crompton called her.
"He said it got out of hand, that it was ugly, and that me and the kids would be all right, and then something like David was dead," she said. "Jesus Christ, the man was not supposed to do that. He wasn't supposed to kill him, he was just going to push him, he said."
Turenne said she "just sat there for a few minutes and cried" and then went outside and checked the passenger's side of the van, but did not see her husband there.
"Then I walked around the other side and that's when I saw him in the bushes."
During the questioning in Winnipeg, Turenne said she spoke to Panama City investigators, but did not mention her relationship with Crompton because she was afraid the police would "implicate" her in her husband's death.
She also confirmed that because of her husband's death, she stood to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Canadian military.
"How much money do you stand to receive upon the death of your husband," she was asked.
"The air force deposited $128,000 in my account on Wednesday and the major, she told me I'd be getting another $300,000," she replied.
Toward the end of her statement, she is asked about her conversations with Panama City police.
"Can you tell us why you decided to give us this statement?"
"This is really bothering me, I feel responsible but this wasn't supposed to happen," she replied. "He wasn't supposed to be smacked like that, it was basically like how does it feel to get pushed into a garage door."
"We understand that when you were interviewed by police in Panama City, you were accompanied by legal counsel, a lawyer."
"Yes, but I didn't even want one then. My friends kept telling me to get one."
"Can you explain to us why you decided to talk to us about the death of your husband without first consulting with Mr. (John) Daniel of Panama City, Florida, or some other lawyer?"
"Because I feel responsible and I just can't live with this," she said. "I want you to know what really happened here because it needs to be told. I did not kill him because I didn't kill him and I didn't want him killed."
Turenne's statement began at 2:05 a.m. on Feb. 15 and was signed by her at 6:03 a.m. She took 50 Tylenol later that day in an apparent attempted suicide.