ABC’s ’20/20: Kelsey Turner’ delves into the shocking 2019 murder of Dr. Thomas Burchard, a well-respected Child Psychiatrist from Salinas, California. As the police searched for potential suspects, they were soon directed to model Kelsey Turner, who had a highly complicated relationship with the medical professional. Perhaps, this troubled equation and Dr. Thomas’ naivety led the 25-year-old to conspire with her boyfriend, Jon Kennison, to murder him mercilessly. Now, if you’re curious to learn more about Jon’s involvement in the doctor’s death and current status, here’s what we found.
Who is Jon Logan Kennison?
When model Kelsey Turner moved to Las Vegas with her son at the end of 2018, she was already dating 27-year-old Jon Logan Kennison. The trio shifted into an apartment with two roommates, Diana Pena and Jeremy Escherich. Jon knew Kelsey had a wealthy benefactor named Dr. Thomas Burchard, a 71-year-old Child Psychiatrist whom she met online while living in Salinas. The latter sympathized with her struggles as a young mother of two, so he took her under his wing and financed her lifestyle. However, Dr. Thomas’ girlfriend, Judy Earp, disliked Kelsey and believed she exploited the medical professional.
Hence, Dr. Thomas decided to cut off the model, but she began threatening to report him for child abuse. Though these allegations were supposedly baseless, he feared approaching the police and kept quiet. Soon, the 71-year-old stopped paying the rent for Kelsey’s house, and she shifted to Las Vegas and lived with Jon. Albeit, she reportedly began contacting Dr. Thomas and claimed that her boyfriend abused her, so she had nowhere to go and raise her son. Feeling bad for Kelsey, the Salinas resident decided to check on her.
On March 1, 2019, Dr. Thomas arrived at Kelsey and Jon’s Las Vegas apartment, but things quickly turned awry. The next day, the couple’s roommate, Jeremy, had his girlfriend over, and she promptly befriended the doctor. This enraged Kelsey, and she got into an argument with her roommate and his partner, accusing them of trying to take Dr. Thomas away from her. Surprisingly, Jon sided with her and reportedly threatened Jeremy physically, at which point he left the apartment for a while.
That very night, another massive argument erupted between Kelsey and Dr. Thomas when she allegedly discovered that he had exchanged pornographic photos with her mother over text. Livid at what she saw, she confronted and threatened him, resulting in the 71-year-old locking himself inside her son’s empty bedroom. While Kelsey tried to get in, Jon arrived with a baseball bat and forcefully kicked down the door, breaking it into two. He then hit Dr. Thomas once on the head with the bat, resulting in the latter getting severely injured and bleeding.
Unfortunately, the matter escalated even further when Dr. Thomas asked to be driven to the hospital and waited in Kelsey’s car downstairs with Diana. Surprisingly, Kelsey and Jon told Diana to clean up the blood upstairs first. Just moments after she left, she heard the model screaming at her boyfriend and repeatedly instigating him to knock out Dr. Thomas. Petrified, Diana ran back outside to stop Jon, only to notice him covered in blood and holding a gun; he had cruelly bludgeoned the medical professional to death.
After putting the victim in Kelsey’s car trunk, her boyfriend drove off and abandoned the car on a dirt road near the highway, whereas the model made Diana clean up the mess they had made at the apartment. Once Jon returned, the trio stayed at a friend’s home for the night with Kelsey’s son and alternated between hotels and friends’ houses for the next few days. Later, the latter’s friend drove them to California, while the police discovered the abandoned car with the body on March 7, 2019.
Once the detectives arrived at Kelsey and Jon’s apartment for questioning, they noticed the blood on the walls and immediately commenced searching for the couple and their roommate. On March 21, the 25-year-old model was arrested in Stockton, and Diana surrendered soon after in April. 27-year-old Jon remained at large but was finally arrested on April 17. All three were charged with Category A felony murder using a deadly weapon against a victim 60 years or older.
Where is Jon Logan Kennison Now?
In June 2019, Jon Logan Kennison pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. However, as the pre-trial commenced, Diana Pena testified against him and Kelsey, and her statement and the evidence helped the prosecutors build a strong case against them. Thus, on the advice of his defense counsel, Jon accepted a plea deal in July 2022.
According to the agreement, Jon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, use of a deadly weapon, and conspiracy. As a result, he was immediately sentenced to 18 to 45 years in prison. As per court records, he is currently 30 and incarcerated at the High Desert State Prison near Indian Springs, with his projected release date being July 30, 2042. Furthermore, Jon shall not be eligible for parole before April 15, 2037.