20 to 40 years in Pa. teen's death, dismemberment

March 27, 2013 7:39:10 PM PDT
A man who participated in the killing and dismemberment of a teenager after a drug dispute was sentenced Wednesday to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Bryan Byrd, 23, was sentenced in Chester County on third-degree murder and conspiracy counts, The Daily Local News of West Chester reported.

Byrd had pleaded guilty and testified against his cousin Laquanta Chapman, who was convicted and sentenced to death in the October 2008 killing of 16-year-old Aaron Turner in southwestern Pennsylvania. Authorities said Chapman forced Turner into his basement and killed him, and he and Byrd then cut the body up with a chain saw. The remains were stuffed into trash bags and left out for disposal, and they were never found, authorities said.

Common Pleas Judge William Mahon told Byrd he was "a poster person for what happens when you hang out with the wrong people."

Byrd apologized in court, not only for his role in the crime but also for remaining silent while Turner's family searched for the missing teenager.

"I accept that I was wrong, and I know I should have done better," he said. "I didn't want none of this. I am not that kind of person."

Chief Deputy District Attorney Patrick Carmody called the case the most disturbing he had ever seen, not just for the way the body was disposed of but also for the terror Turner must have felt.

Defense attorney Mark Rassman said Byrd had been a model high school student in a program that identified promising young men and women. But authorities said rather than going college, Byrd came to Coatesville to visit his cousin, whom he hadn't known before.

The judge told Byrd that he had been "the guy they all thought was going to make it."

"Two people got killed here," he said. "Aaron Turner and the person your family hoped you would be."


Information from: Daily Local News, http://www.dailylocal.com