Brandi Elaine Turner (DOB 04/28/1973) Booking Photo (05/15/2023)
Brandi Elaine Turner (DOB 04/28/1973) Booking Photo (05/15/2023)

Murder Charges Filed Against Brandi Elaine Turner for Murder and Sale of Fentanyl

Author: District Attorney
Date: 5/16/2023 5:07 PM

On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, the District Attorney’s Office filed charges of murder, sale of fentanyl, and possession for sale of fentanyl against Brandi Elaine Turner (DOB 04/28/1973).

Today, District Attorney Dan Dow announced the filing of murder charges against Brandi Elaine Turner (DOB 04/28/1973) for the death of Q.H., age 31, of Templeton.  Turner is also charged with the sale of fentanyl and possession of fentanyl for the purpose of sale.  It is alleged that on October 26, 2022, Turner sold Q.H. fentanyl, which Q.H. ingested resulting in his death.  The sale of fentanyl is alleged to have occurred at the Kansas Avenue Safe Parking area in San Luis Obispo.  The safe parking area was established by the County in 2021 to temporarily accommodate unhoused individuals and families living in their vehicles. 

Turner was arrested yesterday, Monday May 15, 2023, after a six-month investigation into the death of Q.H.  

Turner has been charged with murder and the sale of fentanyl related to the death of Q.H. on October 26, 2022, and possession of fentanyl for sale discovered during a search of her motorhome on November 9, 2022. This is the second time our office has charged a fentanyl dealer with murder for selling fentanyl that caused the death of the purchaser. In May 2020, we charged Timothy Wolfe for the murder of 19-year old Atascadero resident Emilio Velci after Wolfe sold a fake pill that was poisoned with fentanyl to Velci. 

“Buying and selling illicit prescription drugs on the street is deadly dangerous. While a purchaser may believe they are buying a pharmaceutical-grade painkiller, there is no way to know who made them, where they came from, or what is in them. Sadly, as happens too often, it leads to overdose and death,” said District Attorney Dan Dow.  “We will not tolerate the criminal distribution of heroin, fentanyl, and other hard drugs because too many young people have been dying across our country and here in our community.  Individuals who knowingly sell these deadly drugs in our community will be aggressively prosecuted and when the facts support it, they will be charged with murder.”

Criminals in clandestine labs take illicit fentanyl, mix it with other substances and press the mixture into pills that appear to be pharmaceutical-grade medication. The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases the risk of overdose, particularly where the user is unaware of its presence in the pill.  Fentanyl’s high potency permits the drug trafficking criminal to use less of the active drug when making the pills, allowing them to increase profits.  It is not alleged that Turner manufactured the drugs that she sold. 

Turner appeared in Court today for arraignment on the charges as an in-custody defendant and requested that her arraignment be continued to Wednesday, May 23 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 3 of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, Judge Craig van Rooyen presiding.  She remains in custody at the County Jail without bail. 

The investigation is ongoing.  No additional information can be released at this time.  Anyone with information that could be helpful in this investigation is encouraged to contact San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Detective Greg Smith at (805) 781-4500.

It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that must be proven in a court of law. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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.