SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The family of fatal stabbing victim 19-year-old Savannah Burford will continue to wait for the justice they’ve been seeking after the trial for her alleged killer was postponed in Sevier County court. Documents indicate the defense will be seeking an insanity plea.
A motion filed in Sevier County Court on Dec. 6 for the agreed order of continuance indicates the trial for Gabriel Enrique Turcios, 20, is being postponed following a filing for a notice of insanity in November. Documents state the purpose of the continuance is to allow the prosecution time to find an expert witness and allow them, to evaluate and respond to Turcios’ defense expert witness opinion.
Turcios, who was 18 at the time, is facing charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of Burford in January 2020. The teens were co-workers at the Sunliner Diner in Pigeon Forge. Turcios is accused of stabbing Burford in the parking lot behind the diner as Burford was getting picked up from work by her mother.
According to a lawsuit filed by Burford’s family after her death, in the weeks leading up to her murder, Turcios was aggressive toward her and exhibited stalking behavior.
Turcios, now 20 years old, remains in Sevier County Jail on a $1,000,000 bond. Prosecutors had stated they were seeking a life without parole sentence. The order of continuance document states the murder trial dates are now postponed to March and April 2022.
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