Rochester Man Accused of Shooting Girlfriend in the Head Appears in Court
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Rochester man accused of shooting his girlfriend in the head on Christmas Eve made his first appearance in Olmsted County Court Wednesday.
Bail for 34-year-old Phillip Turner was set at $1,000,000. He was arranged on felony charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault.
Court records indicate Turner had gone to the 37-year-old woman’s apartment in the 500 block of 19th St. Northwest around 1 a.m. on Dec. 24 and left the apartment shortly before 8 p.m. that day. Rochester police officers responded to a welfare check at the woman’s apartment shortly before noon on Christmas Day after the father of the woman’s children reported being unable to reach her for a child-custody exchange.
Police reported finding the woman on the floor of a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the left side of her head. Officers also found a spent round and live round from a .380 gun in the apartment, according to the criminal complaint.
Officers were let into the apartment by a 5-year-old child who also gave officers a description of Turner. Police also obtained a description of Turner from the woman’s family members and learned the woman and Turner worked together at a pizza restaurant. Police then tracked Turner to an apartment in the 3300 block of Whalers Ln. in Northwest Rochester, the charges say.
Officers arrested Turner on Christmas Day and found him in possession of an ammunition magazine that contained rounds for a .380 firearm. Court records also say a K-9 found a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol in the snow that Turner later told investigators he abandoned after learning police were at his apartment.
In an interview with investigators Turner admitted to being at the woman’s apartment but denied shooting her. The woman was still alive when officers found her and was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital.
Rochester Police Captain Casey Moilanen said Wednesday morning that she is still alive but in critical condition. He also said the five-year-old and a two-year-old child at the apartment during the alleged shooting were not physically harmed.
Turner’s next court appearance is set for January 10. Jail records indicate Turner remains in custody at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center.