Booking Photo Brandi Turner
Booking Photo Brandi Turner

Brandi Elaine Turner sentenced to 7 years in prison for the fentanyl related death

Author: District Attorney
Date: 3/29/2024 7:07:36 PM

Brandi Elaine Turner (DOB 04/28/1973) sentenced to 7 years in prison for the fentanyl related death of Quinn Allister Hall and possession of fentanyl for sale

District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that Brandi Elaine Turner (50) of San Luis Obispo has been sentenced to serve 7 years in state prison for her plea of no contest to Voluntary Manslaughter in the fentanyl related death of 30 year old Quinn Alister Hall and her conviction by jury of Possession of Fentanyl for Sale. 

On January 24, 2024, after a two-week trial, a San Lus Obispo County jury found Turner guilty of selling fentanyl to Mr. Hall and possessing fentanyl for the purpose of sale two weeks after Mr. Hall’s death.  Jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on a charge of second degree murder for the death of Mr. Hall, being deadlocked 7 to 5 in favor of guilt. 

During the two-week trial, jurors heard evidence that on October 26, 2022, Turner sold Mr. Hall fentanyl, which he ingested resulting in his death.  The sale of fentanyl occurred at the Kansas Avenue Safe Parking area in San Luis Obispo while Truner was a resident.  The safe parking area was established by the County in 2021 to temporarily accommodate unhoused individuals and families who were living in their vehicles.  Jurors heard evidence that at the time Turner sold the fatal fentanyl, she was personally aware of its deadly nature; having suffered a near fatal overdose herself just months prior and knowing others who had suffered both fatal and near fatal fentanyl overdoses in the past.  Additional evidence established that Turner had formal training specific to the lethal nature of fentanyl, yet still sold the deadly drug to Mr. Hall.  Additional fentanyl was found in Turner’s motorhome two weeks after Mr. Hall’s death during the execution of a search warrant.  The jury found Turner possessed this fentanyl for the purpose of sale. 

In lieu of a second jury trial on the murder charge, Turner pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter.  Today, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbara sentenced Turner to serve 7 years in state prison for her conviction of involuntary manslaughter and possession of fentanyl for the purpose of sale.    

At today’s sentencing hearing Mr. Hall’s parents and sister provided statements to the court expressing the “incredible human being” he was, and describing Mr. Hall as intelligent, caring, and full of possibility, yet vulnerable due to his struggle with addiction.  The family described that it was “impossible to explain the magnitude” of losing Quinn and requested that the court impose a sentence that would best assure that “more precious young people and their families do not have to experience this devastating loss.”

“Fentanyl is a deadly dangerous and highly addictive drug that must be tackled at every available opportunity, including through early education, intervention, and when all else fails, aggressive criminal prosecution.  It is a true public health crisis,” said Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth.  “Our office remains committed to the aggressive prosecution of those who sell this poison, including prosecuting dealers for murder when the evidence supports it.” 

Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid, estimated by the California Center for Disease Control to be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.  It is deadly dangerous when ingested alone but is often mixed with other illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana or pressed into fake pharmaceutical pills. Users may not realize they are ingesting fentanyl when it is “cut” into other illicit drugs or in taken in the form of a fake pharmaceutical pill. 

A dose of just 2 milligrams of fentanyl, alone or mixed with another substance, can be fatal depending on the user’s size and tolerance.  According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, 70% of all fake pharmaceutical pills tested by their lab in 2023 contained potentially lethal quantities of fentanyl, up from 40% in 2021.

In San Luis Obispo County fentanyl-related overdose deaths have dramatically increased since 2018.  According to Sheriff-Coroner’s data:

  • In 2018 fentanyl was the cause or a contributing factor in about 7% of drug related overdose deaths in our county (3 of 44),
  • In 2019 the percentage increased to about 23% (12 of 53),
  • In 2020 it increased to about 39% (34 of 88), 
  • In 2021 it increased to about 60% (74 of 123), and
  • In 2022 and 2023 fentanyl continued to be a contributing factor in about 70% of all drug overdose deaths.

The effort to combat this deadly drug continues locally.   In January of this year, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration arrested a couple from Paso Robles for the sale of fentanyl causing death and other drug related charges.  The United States Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case in federal court in Los Angeles.

The Turner case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Detective Greg Smith and the detective team.  The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Gregory Devitt.

A copy of the criminal complaint can be found here.  A copy of the defendant’s booking photo can be found here.

Please contact Assistant District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth at 805.781.5819 with any questions.