Man Who Confessed to Murder Can’t Be Charged Because He Was Already Acquitted of Crime


isaac-turnbaughHe got away with murder and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. A Vermont man who recently confessed to shooting a co-worker in 2002 cannot be charged because he already was acquitted of the killing seven years ago.”You only get one bite of the apple. It’s double jeopardy,” Attorney General William Sorrell told the Burlington Free Press. “You can go out on the courthouse steps and confess, and the state can’t do anything.”

In July, Isaac Turnbaugh, 28, called cops and finally admitted to shooting Declan Lyons in the head in 2004 as the two worked at American Flatbread Co.

Turnbaugh had confessed to the killing not long after he was originally arrested.

His defense, however, successfully argued that Turnbaugh’s claimed responsibility because he was mentally ill, not because he was guilty.

“The jury chose to believe that someone who repeatedly confessed to the murder was lying,” Sorrell said. “But that’s the jury’s right.”

But since the fatal bullet was never found, prosecutors were left to work with no forensic or ballistic evidence.

“There are tough cases. You’ve got to live with the outcome,” Sorrell said.

Turnbaugh’s lawyer, Kurt Hughes, said he thinks his client’s new confession is the same as before.

“It is part of his mental illness, and he also claimed responsibility for 9/11,” Hughes said.

“The jury rightfully did not put a lot of stock in his statements. He was smoking pot, had mushrooms and mental illness.”

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}


  1. There is no chiddushim here. Double jeopardy has always been the law, is well known, and is a bedrock of American democracy.

    The Torah law is the same. If someone is acquitted of murder in Beis Din and then walks out laughing saying he killed the guy, he is still not guilty in the eyes of halacha.

  2. Anyways, in this case he admitted it BEFORE the trial and the court still determined he was not guilty. So there is nothing new in him admitting it after the trial as well. If his admission was because he was mentally ill beforehand, his admission is because he is mentally ill afterwards.