Man who murdered Keystone Heights woman with intellectual disability sentenced

Joe Turner, now 31, spoke to Jordan Cooper’s family directly during the emotional sentencing.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — The man who pleaded guilty earlier this month in the 2017 murder of a woman with mental deficiencies was sentenced Friday morning.

On Nov. 26, Jordan Cooper was reported missing by her family. Two weeks later she was discovered in the attic of her family home, tightly concealed within insulation, according to court records.

Joe Arthur Turner, now 31, was arrested on Dec. 29. 2017. Deputies said Turner lived on the same street as Cooper. While searching his home, investigators said, they found a bag of women’s clothing in the attic. Some of the clothes belonged to Cooper.

Investigators were able to positively match Turner’s identity based on a Band-Aid that was found in Cooper’s house during the investigation. A medical examiner determined Turner strangled Cooper in her home and that he acted alone. The medical examiner noted Cooper had scrapes and cuts on her legs, neck and chest.

The victim’s family says the 25-year-old had the mental capacity of a young teenager.

Cooper and Turner were neighbors.

On March 10, 2022, Turner pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, sexual battery and burglary with an assault or battery. The state was seeking the death penalty in this case, but Turner’s guilty plea took that off the table.

On Friday Judge Steven Whittington sentenced Turner to 55 years in state prison. Turner will also be labeled a sexual predator.

Action News Jax spoke exclusively with Cooper’s father about his feelings on the court’s ruling Friday.

“I’m happy,” Jeff Cooper told reporter Meghan Moriarty outside the Clay County Courthouse. “Fifty-five years–that’s a lifetime anyway.” But he told Action News Jax he is still trying to make sense of her death four years later. “It’s just one of those things that just happened and I can’t put— was probably the hardest thing for me was putting in my mind is why and how it happened,” he said.

Jeff Cooper called his daughter the love of his life, referring to her as the “brightest star” during sentencing. He was among several of Jordan’s family members who got up to speak during the sentencing of her convicted killer.

Turner also spoke during sentencing. He addressed some of Cooper’s family members directly, apologizing for what he had done. ″Nothing I can say or do will ever bring Jordan back,” he said to Jordan’s brother and father. “I just wanted to apologize. Sincerely apologize, say I’m sorry, to Todd and Jeff. I’m sorry.”


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