Comments Off on Jessica Hodges Turner, 35, and Benjamin Allen Turner, of Franklin County, face charges tied to death of Jessica Turner’s father; Also charged with possession of precursors to Methamphetamine

A Franklin County woman and her husband have been indicted on charges related to the death of her father, whose partially decomposed body was discovered in their basement on New Year’s Day.

Jessica Hodges Turner, 35, is charged with one count of elder abuse leading to death, one count of concealing a body, possession of precursors to methamphetamine and 12 counts of fraud.

Six fraud charges involve Virginia Retirement System benefits and six involve Social Security payments, according to Franklin County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Nix.

The fraud charges stem from bank deposits made beginning Aug. 1 and running through Jan. 2, he said.

Nix said Benjamin Allen Turner has been charged with elder abuse leading to death, concealing a body and possessing precursors to methamphetamine.

As of late Monday afternoon, the couple had not been taken into custody, according to a deputy at the Franklin County Jail.

The indictments come several months after the body of Jerry Cleo Hodges, 69, was found in the basement of the Turners’ home on Mount Airy Road.

“The body of Hodges was discovered inside a free-standing Rubber Maid style closet wrapped in plastic sheeting and blankets,” an investigator wrote in a search warrant last month, adding that when the body was observed Jan. 4 at the Roanoke Medical Examiner’s Office, it “was a skeleton with little flesh or skin.”

The warrant said Jessica Turner told police that “Hodges lived in the basement of the Turner residence next to the room where his body was found. Hodges died sometime between September and October of 2014.”

That search warrant, filed in Roanoke County Circuit Court, sought details from Hodges’ insurance provider regarding his medical care history over the past three years. It said he had suffered from poor health and had required frequent and regular medications — specifically insulin to treat his diabetic condition.

In January, Franklin County sheriff’s Lt. Phillip Young said deputies — prompted by calls from relatives — had performed a well-being check at the Turner home and found Hodges’ body in the basement.

The relatives who reported Hodges missing had previously handled his finances and doctor visits, but the warrant said they last saw him in July 2014. More recently, Hodges had been living with the Turners for an undisclosed period of time.

“Neglect played a big role in his death,” Young said Monday.

The initial search warrant on the house, filed Jan. 5 in Franklin County Circuit Court, was sealed by a judge for a 90-day period and recently resealed, according to the clerk’s office.

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