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Regulation and Compliance > Litigation

Next Hearing Set for Suspect in BofA-Merrill Exec’s Killing

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A preliminary hearing has finally been set for ex-broker Anthony Duwayne Turner, the former colleague and ex-boyfriend of slain Bank of America-Merrill executive Michelle Avan, who was killed a year ago.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 8:30 a.m. in Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys, California, a spokesman for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told ThinkAdvisor on Friday, one day after another hearing was held to select a preliminary hearing date.

A so-called Pitchess motion was recently granted to Turner so that he and his attorney could inspect a police officer’s personnel file for any evidence of misconduct.

Defense attorneys often make a Pitchess motion during the pretrial process, when they suspect that police may have acted improperly by filing an inaccurate police report, for instance. When granted, a judge typically releases any information they believe is relevant about the police officer in question to the defendant.

Details of the Case

Avan was a managing director at Merrill Lynch for 22 years before being promoted in June 2021 to head of BofA’s global women’s and underrepresented talent strategy, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Turner, of Westchester, California, was arrested Aug. 5, 2021, and released a few days later after posting $2 million bail, the Los Angeles Police Department and a spokesman for Gascón had told ThinkAdvisor.

Turner was charged with felony murder and first-degree residential burglary in his former girlfriend’s death, according to a Gascón spokesman.

The cause of Avan’s death was initially unknown, but she “appeared to have suffered trauma to her face,” police said at the time.

“Family members became concerned when they could not contact Avan,” police said. Avan’s son discovered her body, and a member of her family contacted police and Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics.

West Valley patrol officers arrived at Avan’s home and found her unresponsive, police said, and paramedics pronounced her dead.

Turner allegedly entered Avan’s home on Aug. 3, 2021, killed her and left the next day, the district attorney said.

Turner had been a registered broker with Merrill since 2004, and his registration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority shifted in 2019 to BofA Securities, where he was still working as a broker when he was arrested, according to his report on FINRA’s BrokerCheck. He is no longer registered as a broker, according to BrokerCheck.

Avan had considered seeking a restraining order against Turner, with whom she had been in a romantic relationship, NBC4′s I-Team reported, citing law enforcement sources.

Avan’s family requested that Gascón file a special circumstances murder charge against Turner in addition to the charges filed by the district attorney.

(Image: Los Angeles Sentinel/File Photo)