Suspect Held for Alamedan’s Murder

Courtesy Austin Police Department

Joseph Karr’s mug shot show the self-inflicted wounds on his neck.

An Emeryville man is in a county jail in Texas for allegedly fatally stabbing his Alameda-resident girlfriend in Austin, Tex. Saturday, Nov. 1.

Joseph Frederick Karr, 53, was arrested the day after Halloween and several hours after Austin police discovered the dead body of his 43-year-old girlfriend Kelly Turner. The couple traveled to Turner’s hometown of Austin so she could introduce her then partner to her family. The couple went out to a bar Halloween Night with an acquaintance of Turner’s, Michael Hammond, and his girlfriend, according to a police affidavit.

The group returned to Hammond’s apartment where the Bay Area couple was staying while in town. When they got back home, Hammond and his girlfriend went upstairs to go to bed while Turner and Karr stayed downstairs in the living room. This is when police say the couple got into an argument.

Hammond told police he was awakened by the sounds of a screaming woman about an hour after he went upstairs. He called 911 and grabbed a nearby handgun. When he entered the living room he told police he saw Karr pacing back-and-forth with blood on his shirt and holding a knife. He also saw Turner’s body lying motionless with visible stab wounds. Hammond said he could hear Karr saying to himself, "I can’t believe I (expletive) killed her," according to the affidavit.

Hammond pointed his gun at Karr and told him to stop walking up the stairs. Karr took Hammond’s yellow 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser and fled the home located on the 5200 block of McCarty Lane in Austin.

Police discovered the body at 1 a.m. Saturday. Karr was captured a short time later. Police said he had self-inflicted knife wounds when he was arrested.

Karr is currently being held on $2 million bail at the Travis County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 25.

Turner’s sister Barbara Shannon told television station ABC7 that she would always remember "(Kelly’s) beautiful smile."

Turner was born and raised in Austin where she attended high school and the University of Texas. She worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines out of Oakland International Airport.

A statement from Southwest Airlines said that "Kelly was a wonderful person, and our hearts go out to her family during this difficult time."

Karr is a 20-year professional steel fabricator, sculptor and artist who operated Bohemian Blacksmith Studios at 3631 San Pablo Ave. in Emeryville. He fabricated tools, furniture, architectural embellishments and weapons.