Man pleads guilty in 2019 murder case

A Cochranton man pleaded guilty Thursday in Crawford County Court to the murder of his stepmother and half brother at their Guys Mills home in 2019 and was sentenced to decades in prison.

Jack Turner, 23, was charged in the killings of Shannon Whitman, 49, and her 10-year-old son, Darrin Whitman, who were found dead in their home on Highway 198 on Aug. 10, 2019.

Turner pleaded guilty Thursday to two felony counts of criminal homicide and a felony count of burglary, according to court documents.

He was sentenced by Judge Mark Stevens to a total of 45 to 90 years in prison, the court documents say.

The Crawford County District Attorney’s office had filed a notice in February that prosecutors would seek the death penalty for Turner if he was convicted at trial.

Turner was scheduled to stand trial next month.

Reports from authorities have indicated that the Whitmans were both shot once in the head.

Meadville state police said that when the bodies were found, it was also discovered that a 2009 silver-colored Lincoln MKS sedan, two guns and several other items had been stolen.

A three-day manhunt ensued after the killings, and during that time Turner was sighted several times in St. John’s County, Florida, near St. Augustine, according to the St. John’s county sheriff’s office.

Turner was taken into custody without incident at the Greyhound bus station in Charleston, West Virginia, according to Charleston police.

He was later extradited to Crawford County, where he has been held in the Crawford County jail as his case wound its way through the court system.