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Family's closure denied

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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FORREST CITY, Ark. (FOX13) -

Effie Turner of Forrest City has been waiting 14 years to get justice for her murdered daughter.

She says she can't get the closure she needs because prosecutors cut a deal with the murderer behind her back and wasn't even told about the sentencing.

Turner waited 12 years for police to arrest the man responsible for her 19-year-old daughter's murder. She never gave up hope. She said she's been betrayed by the people responsible for putting that man in jail.

"At least let us have some closure to this case and now we don't have any," she said.

Turner's daughter, Tawana Blunt, was raped and murdered in a Forrest City apartment complex in 2000. The man accused was set to go to trial in two weeks, but prosecutors made a deal even though Turner was told they wouldn't.

"He told us this. He said me and Mr. Long is not making no deals, so we going on your word," she said.

The office of Arkansas First Judicial Circuit Prosecuting Attorney Fletcher Long is handling the case. Turner learned about the deal in the newspaper. The Forrest City Times-Herald reports Anthony "Tony" LeJuan Johnson pleaded no contest to manslaughter and false imprisonment charges.
 
Johnson will serve 40 years, a long sentence, but he was facing a capital murder charge.

"We all having a bad time right now because we were looking forward to this trial," Turner said. "That meant so much to us. It means so much that, you know, we were going to get some closure. Even though it would never go away we were going to get that closure."

Turner waited 12 years for police to finally make an arrest in her daughter's killing, police and family members made the announcement at a news conference.

Johnson was already serving time in Indiana on another charge. Law enforcement ran his DNA and it matched evidence from the scene in Forrest City.
 
But Turner wants more answers on how he got into her daughter's apartment. She wants to know why this happened, and now she wants answers from the prosecutor.

"I want him to tell us, I want him to tell us, sit down, and tell us the answer to the question that we want to know," Turner said. "Only he can tell us now and I feel like he owes us that."

Turner said her family should have been treated better.

"My daughter was important to us, even if she wasn't to no one else," she said. "I think we deserve more than what they gave us."

Johnson is still serving time in Indiana. Twenty years of his sentence from Arkansas will be served concurrently with that time.

FOX13 News called the prosecuting attorney's office and left a message Tuesday afternoon, and were told he was unavailable. We'll try again Wednesday.

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