The horrifying discovery of two dead bodies at an apartment in Laurel, Maryland, early one May 2013 morning stunned the neighborhood. While Tina’s daughter was discovered unharmed, Tina Towler and her lover James Ferguson were brutally killed in their house. The American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda: What She Saw on Investigation Discovery details how the police eventually apprehended the murderer using biological evidence. Let’s investigate what occurred, shall we?
How Did James Ferguson and Tina Towler Pass Away?
Jasmine Gilbert, who had cerebral palsy at the time and was a 26-year-old, was being raised by her 45-year-old mother, Tina Lynn Flower. She was a Verizon employee and James Vell Ferguson was her boyfriend. The 42-year-old was regarded as a welcoming figure in the community who occasionally worked for a contractor. On the evening of May 1, 2013, a nurse arrived and observed them.
The following morning, around 8 am, a different nurse who came to the house to take care of Jasmine found a horrifying find in the bedroom. Jasmine was in the room’s corner, unharmed, with a sheet covering her face. Tina and James’ bodies were on the floor. The pair also had many stab and cutting wounds in addition to significant blunt force damage. James was stabbed eight times, compared to Tina’s six.
Who murdered James Ferguson and Tina Towler?
The bedroom at the crime scene was clearly the location of a struggle. From the bathroom, the cops removed a bloody towel and a folding knife that they thought to be the murder weapon. In addition, a broken flashlight that was used in some of the blows was discovered in the bed. The bedroom door bore evidence of a break-in. Beer cans and a glass vial containing PCP were also found in the trash. Tina and James had alcohol, cocaine, and PCP in their systems, according to the autopsy.
Thurston Lamont Yerby was identified as the suspect after the detectives focused on the couple’s social group. He reportedly shared a residence at the time with Tina’s ex-husband. He was chatting with Norman Gary, his wife, his mother, and the mother’s companion on May 1, 2013. Thurston attempted to grope Norman’s mother at one time, which resulted in an argument, and Thurston was forced to leave. Thurston then departed in a white SUV at about 10:00 pm.
Approximately 10:50 p.m., one of Tina and James’ neighbors recalled seeing a white SUV outside the apartment. In addition, surveillance footage from the apartment complex around the time of the murders showed Thurston’s vehicle entering and leaving. When questioned, he asserted that he had no involvement in the killings and added that he had left Norman’s house about 10:15 pm and had gone straight home. When the interview was over, Thurston even took the water bottle and cigarette butt with him instead of submitting a DNA sample.
Eventually, fingerprint and DNA samples from Thurston were gathered by the authorities. One of the beer cans bore his prints. Additionally, the cans and the blood-stained towel both had Thurston’s DNA. In addition, the DNA of Tina, James, and Thurston was found in a bloodstain on the sink. Another connection was that the knife handle seemed to have Thurston’s biological profile.
What has become of Thurston Lamont Yerby?
Thurston Lamont Yerby had a love involvement with Tina in the past, and the prosecution claimed that this relationship may have contributed to the murders. They hypothesized that James entered the room while Thurston was sexually assaulting Tina, sparking a struggle that resulted in the killings. They were struck with a vase, a skillet, a pot, and a flashlight.
The defense, on the other hand, cited the presence of PCP, a substance known to have psychotic effects, in Tina’s and James’ systems. Nevertheless, Thurston, who was 49 at the time of his conviction, was given two consecutive 30-year terms after being found guilty on two charges of second-degree murder in November 2015. According to prison records, he is still detained in the Maryland’s Jessup Correctional Institution.