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Man accused of California doctor’s 2019 fatal beating sentenced to prison

One of three people charged in the 2019 killing of a California psychiatrist was sentenced on Tuesday to a maximum of 45 years in prison.

Jon “Logan” Kennison, 30, pleaded guilty in June to second-degree murder with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit murder, court records show. Diana Pena, who pleaded guilty in June 2019 to accessory to murder, previously testified to a grand jury that she watched Kennison swing a baseball bat at 71-year-old Dr. Thomas Burchard in southeast valley home at 7474 Puritan Ave.

Pena, who was roommates with Kennison and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Kelsey Turner, had testified that Turner had become upset with Burchard over images and messages she found on the doctor’s phone.

Turner and Kennison had initially planned to take Burchard to a hospital after he was struck with the bat, but later Turner began demanding her boyfriend“knock Thomas out,” Pena testified.

Pena testified that she later saw Kennison covered in blood. The psychiatrist’s body and a baseball bat were found on March 7, 2019, in the trunk of Turner’s abandoned Mercedes-Benz C300 east of Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, District Judge Carli Kierny sentenced Kennison to between 18 and 45 years in prison, court records show.

Kennison’s attorneys, public defenders Darin Imlay and David Lopez-Negrete, wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed last week that Kennison “stood no chance with Turner” after he met her in February 2019.

“Logan’s error in judgment was becoming entangled with a master manipulator he could not rebuff,” the memorandum said. “He was also in love with her. Logan’s violence, thus, was a crime of passion. Turner’s frenzy fueled him. Her frenzy and calls for bloodlust sealed Dr. Burchard’s unjustified fate.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Pamela Weckerly did not reply to request for comment on Tuesday. Turner’s defense attorney, Ashley Sisolak, also did not reply to request for comment.

Police have said Burchard traveled to Las Vegas at the beginning of March 2019 to visit Turner, with whom he had an intimate relationship. His longtime girlfriend, Judy Earp, has told the Review-Journal he had paid for the roommates’ rent and previously paid for Turner’s rent in California.

Turner has been charged with murder of a victim 60 or older with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to commit murder. She is scheduled to go to trial in November.

A sentencing hearing for Pena has not been set following her guilty plea three years ago.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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