Inmate dies in stabbing

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

POLKTON – Thirteen years ago, Wesley Turner was able to dodge death when he was shot during an attempted escape from Odom Prison near Jackson.

On Friday of last week, Turner’s life came to an end at the hands of a fellow inmate here at Lanesboro Correctional Institution, located in Anson County east of Charlotte.

NC Department of Public Safety officials have confirmed that Turner, age 35, was stabbed during an early afternoon altercation between several inmates housed in one of the several pods at the high security facility He was pronounced dead later on Friday at the Anson Community Hospital. Another inmate involved in the altercation was injured and received medical treatment.

The 1,000 cell prison was placed on lockdown and the Anson Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation responded, as did officers with the Prison Emergency Response Team.

For Turner, his life nearly ended in July of 1999 when he and two other inmates attempted to flee from an outside work detail at Odom Prison.

According to News-Herald archives, Turner along with Bem Holloway and Benny Joyner attempted to run while pulling weeds by hand on a prison-maintained cotton field a little more than a mile from what was then a close-custody prison facility. The three inmates fled, crossed the road and were making their way into the underbrush when the shots were fired by two Odom guards. The guards chased the fleeing inmates on horseback, dismounted and opened fire.

At that time, Turner was serving a 23-year sentence for second degree murder on a conviction in Wayne County. He was shot in the lower right kidney and right rib cage.

Holloway was killed in the escape attempt. He was serving a 95-year sentence following a 1998 conviction in Wake County for rape, robbery and attempted murder. He was also facing first degree murder charges in Bladen and Robeson counties in the killings of a Wilmington woman and a Lumberton convenience store clerk.

Joyner also survived the shooting, wounded in the lower right leg and left shoulder. He was serving a 61-year sentence for second degree murder in Pitt County.

Turner had been housed at Lanesboro Correctional since April 2009 and was set to be released in 2017.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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