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Man arrested in killing of Hawthorne couple may be connected to third slaying

October 25, 2010 |  1:00 pm

A 53-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a married couple in Hawthorne and may be connected to a third death, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Monday.

John Wesley Ewell is being held on suspicion of killing Leamon Turnage, 69, and his wife, Robyn Turnage, 57, on Friday in Hawthorne.

Authorities have a “mountain of evidence they are sifting through that connect him” to the slayings, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The couple were discovered dead inside their home by Hawthorne police officers conducting a welfare check.

Investigators also have evidence that may connect Ewell to a Sept. 24 home-invasion robbery several blocks away that left Hanna Morcos, 80, dead, Whitmore said.

Morcos was found about 8:30 p.m. face down in his apartment in the 4100 block of West 137th Street, according to The Times' Homicide Report.

Morcos had suffered blunt head trauma, said Ed Winter, a spokesman for the L.A. County coroner's office.

Ewell is currently being held on $1-million bail, officials said.

-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: Members of the media talk to investigators as Los Angeles County sheriff's officials released a photo of suspect John Wesley Ewell and his car at Sheriff's Department headquarters, in the investigation of a double murder in Hawthorne. On Friday, Robyn Turnage, 57, and her husband, Leamond Turnage, 69, were found dead in their home in the 4100 block of West 142nd Street. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report