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Anthony Duwayne Turner

Regulation and Compliance > Litigation

Pretrial Hearing Set for Ex-Broker Charged With Murder of BofA-Merrill Exec

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What You Need to Know

  • A pretrial conference has been set for July 10 for ex-broker Anthony Duwayne Turner.
  • Turner was arrested in August 2021 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Michelle Avan.
  • Avan was a managing director at Merrill Lynch for 22 years before being promoted to head of BofA’s global women’s and under-represented talent strategy.

The first pretrial conference for ex-broker Anthony Duwayne Turner, charged with the murder in 2021 of his former colleague and ex-girlfriend, Bank of America-Merrill executive Michelle Avan, has been scheduled for July 10, according to Greg Risling, a spokesman for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.

The pretrial conference will follow the final preliminary hearing, held last month at Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys, California, Risling told ThinkAdvisor by email on Wednesday.

Although the court’s website usually notes when the next hearing in each case is scheduled to be held, it still said on Friday that there were no upcoming scheduled events related to this case.

A so-called Pitchess motion was granted to Turner last year 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, for example, filing an inaccurate police report. When granted, a judge typically releases any information they believe is relevant about the police officer in question to the defendant.

Avan’s Death

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 under-represented 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 spokesperson for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told ThinkAdvisor at the time.

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

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 another relative 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 website. He is no longer registered as a broker, according to BrokerCheck.

Avan had considered seeking a restraining order against Turner, reported KNBC, 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.

(Pictured: Anthony Duwayne Turner. Photo: Los Angeles Sentinel/File Photo)


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