LaJoya McCoy was terrorized by her ex-boyfriend
A state appeals court panel upheld a Pasadena man’s conviction for strangling the mother of his two children and leaving her body in her car in Monrovia.
The three-justice panel from California’s Second District Court of Appeal found that the prosecution had presented “compelling evidence” of Jose Roberto Turner’s “motive and intent to kill” his ex-girlfriend, LaJoya McCoy, 31-years-old, of Monrovia, along with his presence at the crime scene.
According to the appellate court panel’s 22-page ruling, Turner “wrote about his anger at McCoy and his intent to kill her shortly before the murder. He had displayed stalking behavior and jealousy when McCoy was in the presence of other men. He slashed her tires and took documents from her apartment. Significantly, forensic evidence connected him to the murder, since his DNA was present at the crime scene and he was a possible contributor to the DNA mixture in her fingernails. Furthermore, he displayed consciousness of guilt when he failed to help McCoy’s family and police.”
McCoy – who worked as an accountant with the city of Los Angeles and owned a clothing boutique – was reported missing after she failed to show up for some scheduled appointments.
He was sentenced last year to 26 years to life in state prison after being convicted of first-degree murder. Jurors also found true an allegation that he had used a rope in the commission of the attack.
The investigation began on June 15, 2015, when Monrovia Police responded to the 800 block of West Olive Avenue on a “welfare check” on the resident. Relatives had called the police when they were unable to reach her. Circumstances at the residence prompted police to obtain a search warrant for the property and to ask the assistance of the Sheriff Homicide Bureau in what was then a missing person case.
During a grid search by Monrovia Police of the area, McCoy’s vehicle was located in the 200 block of Cypress Avenue. A human body was located inside the vehicle.