Suspect in stabbing has violent past 

A San Francisco man convicted of murder in 1978 but released from a mental hospital 10 years later is facing life in prison after being charged with stabbing another man inside a Tenderloin hotel last week.

Robert Lee Turner, 67, will be arraigned today after the lifetime criminal nearly killed his neighbor for saying “hi,” according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The victim was a 46-year-old man who was Turner’s neighbor at a residential hotel in the 200 block of O’Farrell Street. About 11 a.m. April 15, police responded to a 911 call and found the neighbor in the hallway area of the hotel, according to police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza.

Turner allegedly stabbed his neighbor in the eye, head and side, but the injuries were not considered life-threatening, authorities said.

The case will be charged under California’s three-strikes law because Turner already has stabbed two people, killing one.

He was convicted in 1965 in San Francisco for assault with a deadly weapon and convicted for murder in a 1978 stabbing of a random stranger, prosecutors said. The defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity in both cases and was committed to Atascadero State Hospital and later Napa State Hospital. The hospital released Turner in 1989.

He’s expected to be charged formally at 9 a.m. today in San Francisco Superior Court.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

 

 

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