ARREST MADE IN JESSIKA JAMES DEATH
SALINE CO.–An arrest has been made in the June 2009 death of 4-year-old Jessika James
, and it’s coming as no surprise to friends and family of the little girl.
Ricky Turner, 32, of Eldorado
, was taken into custody today at the Saline County courthouse by Illinois State Police as he was reportedly attending an unrelated civil court case (an order of protection reportedly involving his ex-wife). Turner has been charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder in connection with James’ death.
Turner was living with Jessika’s mother, Brandi, at the time the little girl was taken to first Farrell Hospital, then Cardinal Glennon, a children’s hospital in St. Louis, for treatment of serious injuries.
While the injuries were kept vague in published mainstream media reports, family contacting Disclosure last summer reported that Jessika was alleged to have had a broken back
when she was taken to Ferrell.
Once there, these family member reported that doctors discovered her brain had shifted in her cranium, which is what they reported had actually caused her death
As well, the same sources indicated that her teeth had rotted out and that her hair was falling out because it was lice-infested and left untreated. The little girl weighed only 32 pounds, and reportedly had cigarette burns all over her body
. At her funeral in Shawneetown, a bandanna was covering her head to hide what was left of her hair, as many who attended reported to Disclosure.
Brandi James came to have Jessika for the last several weeks of her life after Brandi’s grandmother died; her grandmother had taken care of Jessika almost since birth
. There was no one else for the little girl to go to, family reports, and apparently the alleged abuse upon the little girl was perpetrated from that point forward
. Eli Nipper, who currently sits in DOC on unrelated charges, is Jessika’s bio-dad but has proven to be equally useless as a parent.
Turner has an incredibly lengthy criminal history in Saline and surrounding counties and has been under reports of possible abuse of another of his children in Hardin, where there was an Order of Protection issued against him in the matter. Turner was recently in Saline County court on a number of criminal infractions March 19, including Possession of Meth, DUI/drugs, Possession of a Firearm with Revoked FOID, Felon in Possession/Use of a weapon, and traffic violations
. He was next set for a hearing on those cases May 7.
There’s been no word on any charges against Brandi James. Illinois State Police reportedly handled the Turner investigation, which may account for the length of time (as they can be very, very painstakingly thorough). Turner was taken into custody without incident by ISP and prosecutor Mike Henshaw has stated that he will be asking for a $1 million bond to be set in Turner’s case (updated to reflect the accurate amount 04.08.10 per Mike Henshaw).
Richard Turner being led away by State Police investigators after being arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Courthouse on murder charges in connection with the death of four-year-old Jessika James.