Seeking parole: Karen Brown lobbies for release 35 years after murder conviction

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 19:12:01-05

PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. (LEX 18) — After serving 34 years and 11 months of a life sentence, Karen Brown took her third and perhaps last shot at a parole board.

"I beg for mercy from the people that are in my life," Brown said during Tuesday's hearing.

Those people will not include Michael Turpin's family members, who are also begging for something: for Brown and her accomplices to remain in prison for life. Turpin was killed in February of 1986 in Lexington when his wife Elizabeth spearheaded the murder-for-hire plot. According to testimony, Elizabeth and Karen planned on splitting Michael's life insurance policy, valued at $60,000, and they paid Keith Bouchard to kill Mr. Turpin. Brown, it was revealed, held Turpin down as Bouchard stabbed him more than twenty times. They then dumped his body in Lexington's Jacobson Park lake.

Last month Turpin was denied parole, and Bouchard suffered a similar fate in 2017. Neither is eligible for another hearing.

"It is our job to balance what you have done for yourself against what you have done to others," said attorney Brenda Beers-Reineke who sits on the parole board.

Brown says she has remained drug-free during her prison stint while avoiding conflict on the inside. If granted parole, she plans to live with her mother in Lincoln County and claims to have a job waiting for her.

"I always kept what I had done as a motivator to make better choices," she said while making her case for the board.

Brown seemed contrite, but she never came right out and admitted to what her role was on that night when given a chance to do so. She does seem to understand that giving up the last 35 years of her life pales compared to what she took from Turpin's family.

"I don't know that there's any time that can repay that loss. I just always begged for forgiveness from my victims, and forgiveness from my family," she said.

Now she's begging a parole board whose members plan to meet on Monday to make a decision.