Crime & Justice

Suspect arrested in Hawthorne double murder

A man accused of killing a Hawthorne couple, and also suspected in a fatal home invasion robbery in that city, was in custody today on $1 million bail pending his first court appearance tomorrow.

John Wesley Ewell, 53, was arrested Saturday and booked on suspicion of murdering Robyn Turnage, 57, and her husband Leamond Turnage, 69.

They were found dead about 3:45 p.m. Friday in their home in the 4100 block of West 142nd Street.

Sheriff's Lt. Dave Coleman said the victims were beaten and strangled after returning to the Southland from a trip to Florida to visit their son and daughter-in-law for the birth of their first grandchild.

Ewell is also suspected in a home-invasion robbery last month in which an 80-year-old man died of a heart attack, according to sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

A $10,000 reward was recently offered for information leading to a conviction in the death of Hanna Morcos, a retired county employee who was attacked in his home in the 4100 block of West 137th Street about 3:40 p.m. on Sept. 24. His wife was in the house, but was uninjured.

Ewell was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Airport Courthouse.