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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of September 10 - 16, 2003

News

Law enforcement cleared in Turner death

Turner children returned to father


By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer

A Summit County deputy and a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officer both were restored to active duty last week after being cleared of negligence for the shooting death of former Hailey Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Natalie Turner. It was determined that the officers acted according to procedure, said Utah Department of Public Safety Lt. Doug McCleve.

Turnerís children have been returned to her ex-husband and are back in Utah after a judge gave temporary custody to the father.

All criminal investigations will be closed once a death certificate is issued for Turnerís deceased fiancť David Gayler, who was found hanging in his jail cell Sept. 3, said Utah Department of Public Safety homicide investigator Larry Marx.

Many loose ends in the month old case remain, however. Summit and Wasatch County sheriffs are not releasing details of the investigation, pending any civil suit.

Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds expressed his remorse at the way the events turned out, saying his department felt a great deal of compassion for all the families involved.

The children, Carter, 7, and Clara, 4, were at the heart of a custody battle between Turner and her ex-husband John Pochynok that climaxed Aug. 8, when Turner traveled to Utah with Gayler to confront Pochynok about the issue, her family said.

Pochynok was allegedly shot with a handgun at his home in Kamas, Utah. He is recovering from wounds to his liver and chest. No charges will be filed against Pochynok, according to Chris Kramer, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

After responding to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance and "shots fired" at the home the evening of Aug. 8, police caught up with Gayler, Turner and Pochynok on the highway in nearby Summit County.

Police have said that video cameras mounted on police cruisers show that Turner pointed a gun at a county deputy and was subsequently shot by two officers. Gayler was arrested and Pochynok was transported by ambulance to the University of Utah hospital with two gunshot wounds. Gayler had been held in Wasatch County jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond and was scheduled to appear in court Friday, Sept. 12, to request or waive a preliminary hearing.

He had been charged Friday, Aug. 29 with first degree felony counts of attempted murder and aggravated kidnapping, a second degree charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and one third degree felony charge of failing to stop for police.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

 

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.