BEULAVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)–The Beulaville man who shot his wife’s lover in 2013 learned he’ll be headed to prison for a minimum of 17 years.
Max Turner accepted a plea deal of second degree murder one day before his case was to go before a jury. Turner shot and killed Jamie Fountain on February 5, 2013, who was in a car with Turner’s wife at the time.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom where Turner’s family and the family of the man he killed both spoke in front of a judge. Families on both sides of the court room held back tears today as turner accepted his sentence.
Jamie Fountain’s family said it would be up to God to forgive Turner for taking away their loved one. When it was Turner’s turn to address the court about the night he shot and killed his wife’s lover, he said he was sorry and wishes he could take that night back.
Turner’s defense attorney, Tim Smith, argued his client had basically lost his mind over his wife’s affair.
“He was in shock,” Tim Smith said. “He basically didn’t recall everything that had happened. He’d been married for 30 years and he never for once anticipated his wife having any sort of affairs. When the event occurred, that was the first time he had actually seen his wife and Mr. Fountain together ”
District Attorney Ernie Lee said Turner tracked his wife’s movements for months and even installed a tracking device on her car. Both sides agreed, there were no winners Thursday in court.
“I can tell you, I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years now and there are no winners in these cases because really what we want is to see that justice is done but we can never bring back the victim,” Lee said. “One individual is now deceased so their family no longer has them in their lives and then many times the defendant goes to prison and their family no longer has them.”
Turner’s attorney says he hopes Turner will now have a chance at a life after prison because of the shorter sentence that Turner accepted by taking a plea deal.
Lee said Turner must serve at least 90% of his 21 year sentence before he’ll be eligible for parole. That means, Turner must serve at least 19 years in prison.