Suspect in Marcus Kauffman killing faces new charge for having p - | WBTV Charlotte

Suspect in Marcus Kauffman killing faces new charge for having phone in jail

Source: Salisbury Post Source: Salisbury Post

One of the four men originally charged in the robbery and killing of Rowan County firefighter Marcus Kauffman is now facing new charges after deputies found a cell phone hidden in a sock.

According to the Rowan Sheriff, deputies were conducting a search of the cell of Jaylend Turner when they found the phone, as well as a "homemade battery pack."

Turner is in the Rowan County jail under a bond of $3,000,000.  Turner was charged with attempted murder, first degree murder, felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, and larceny of a firearm.

The new charge is possession of a phone/communications device by an inmate.

Marcus Kauffman was shot in the head during a robbery at his home on Chenault Road, in western Rowan County, on December 2, 2013.

He and his wife, Maryann, were returning home from a Thanksgiving trip in 2013 when they noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near their home that appeared to be broken-down. Marcus dropped his wife off at a friend's house and returned to offer assistance.

According to deputies, Kauffman returned to discover that the people at the car appeared to be removing items from his home.

He called 911 to report the incident, but during the conversation told the dispatcher that shots were being fired before the call was lost. Kauffman was found in his car with a severe gunshot wound to the back of his head. The car had crashed into a tree.

He remained on life support for nearly three weeks after the shooting and died December 20 at Carolinas Medical Center.

Four people were originally charged in connection with the case.

Tramel Devon Hart was originally charged with accessory after the fact, but earlier this month was sentenced to 6-17 months in prison after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.  Hart did receive credit for the 1038 days he spent in jail awaiting trial, according to Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook.

Last month, suspect Michael Dwayne Teasley, 28, pleaded guilty to possession of stolen goods and was sentenced to six to 17 months in prison. Teasley had been charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder.

Teasley was given credit for the 817 days he has served in the Rowan County Detention Center awaiting trial. Teasley was released on bond in 2016.

Khari McClelland, who was facing the death penalty, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison in 2016.

Investigators have said McClelland and Jaylend Turner stole Kauffman’s gun and laptop as well as other items. The laptop was tracked to a Statesville home where investigators spoke with Teasley, who told them he bought the laptop from a man for $200.

The sheriff's office is conducting an investigation to determine how Turner was able to get a phone in his cell.

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