Man held in beating death of girlfriend
NORTH COVENTRY >> The East Pikeland man who authorities contend beat his girlfriend to death after accusing her of cheating on him has been held for trial on first-degree murder charges.
District Judge John Hipple of North Coventry on Dec. 17 ordered Mark Turner bound over to Common Pleas Court on all charges against him for the Nov. 2 death of 45-year-old Rachel Yeager.
Turner is being held without bail in Chester County Prison.
According to Deputy District Attorney Michele Frei, who is prosecuting the case of fatal domestic violence, the preliminary hearing consisted of testimony by Chester County Detective John O’Donnell, the lead investigator in the case.
O’Donnell took a videotaped statement from Turner in the early morning hour of Nov. 2 at the Pottstown Police Department headquarters, where Turner was brought after police were called to the home he and Yeager shared on Ridge Road in
the township northwest of Phoenixville.
Turner told the detective that he had punched and kicked Yeager after becoming upset that she may have slept with another man inside their home that day.
The defendant told O’Donnell that he had been at work as a handyman that day but had come home at some point to find Yeager and a friend inside the house, drinking alcohol. He told the man to leave, and then returned to work.
After leaving his job, Turner said he went to two bars, one in Phoenixville and another in Upper Providence, where he drank. He left the second bar with a quart bottle of beer, and returned home to find Yeager alone.
He said that he went upstairs to his bedroom, but that when he turned down the sheets he noticed a wet spot on the bed that convinced him that Yeager and the friend had had sex there.
Turner punched Yeager in her head with a closed fist repeatedly, hit her on both sides of her jaw, and used his steel-toed work books to kick her in the vaginal area multiple times.
East Pikeland Police responded to a 911 report of a domestic disturbance, and found Yeager unresponsive on the couch. She was transported to Phoenixville Hospital, then to the trauma center at Paoli Hospital, where she lingered on life support for some time, but died at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 2.
The autopsy, which O’Donnell presented to the court in preliminary form, revealed that Dr. Gary Collins determined that Yeager died of blunt impact injuries to her head.
Tuner, 53, was represented at the hearing by attorney Frank Moser of Philadelphia.
The case will now be listed for trial.