Sheriff Says Couple Went to Utah with Intent to Kill

Sheriff Says Couple Went to Utah with Intent to Kill

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) -- A Utah sheriff believes the Hailey Chamber of Commerce director and her boyfriend drove to Park City, Utah, to kill her ex-husband.

Instead, Natalie Turner died from gunshots after she reportedly pointed a gun at officers on a rural highway four miles east of Park City last Friday.

"We have evidence that would lead us to believe they did go up there with premeditation," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said Tuesday. "They went there to commit a murder. There is absolutely no question in my mind."

Turner's boyfriend, David Gayler, is believed to have driven Turner from Hailey to the Park City home of ex-husband John Pochynok on Friday to talk about custody of their two children.

Neighbors called police after hearing gunshots, Utah Department of Public Safety spokesman Dan Rosenhan said. Pochynok was wounded, and Gayler and Turner were taking him to a hospital when police stopped them outside Park City.

Rosenhan said Pochynok got the gun away from Turner and shot her twice inside the car. Turner wrestled the gun back, stepped out of the car, pointed the gun back into the car and then pointed it at the officers, who shot and killed her.

Pochynok, 51, was listed in stable condition at the University of Utah Medical Center, following surgery for bullet wounds directly under his heart and through his liver.

Edmunds said he bases his belief on evidence found at Pochynok's home and inside Gayler's car, interviews with Gayler and "some communication" with Pochynok.

"As the hours progress, we receive more information that's very disturbing and very shocking," Edmunds said. "Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and this case would certainly be evidence of that."

Fourth District Judge Donald Eyre ordered Gayler held in jail on a $100,000 cash-only bail earlier this week. He faces a Friday hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to file charges.

Turner's father, David Turner, questioned whether his daughter and Gayler intended to kill Pochynok. He said the two put Pochynok in the car while he was still alive and headed toward the hospital.

"Why didn't they turn left and head to the Uinta Mountains where there's lots of wilderness? If you're going to bury a body, shouldn't it be dead first?" he asked.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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