Kelly Turner, 42, appearing remotely from jail, Wednesday pled not guilty to killing her daughter Olivia Gant, in 2017
Turner was indicted last year on murder, child abuse, theft and charitable fraud
The Colorado mom claimed seven-year-old Olivia suffered from multiple illnesses, some terminal, and withdrew her medical care leading up to her death
Olivia’s body was exhumed in 2018 after police became suspicious about her death when her mother claimed another daughter, now 11, had cancer
Turner is accused of persuading a doctor treating her daughter to initiate a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order
At the time, Olivia’s cause of death was determined as intestinal failure, but her body was exhumed and a forensic pathologist found no evidence of it
There was also no evidence of any other illnesses she was claimed to have
Turner is also accused of defrauding the Medicaid system of more than $538,000 and ripping off the Make-a-Wish Foundation and several charities, as well as the funeral parlor that handled the arrangements
Turner has denied any wrongdoing during questioning but mentioned the psychological disorder Munchausen syndrome by proxy
Her attorneys want to base he defense on the conduct of Olivia’s doctors
A Colorado mom is charged with killing her seven-year-old daughter after allegedly pretending the girl was terminally ill and seeking donations to cover her medical care.
Kelly Renee Turner, also known as Kelly Gant, faces 13 separate charges in the 2017 death of her daughter, Olivia Gant, and the mistreatment of another daughter.
Kelly Turner’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea on her behalf on Wednesday during a virtual court hearing in suburban Denver.
Turner, 42, appeared by video from jail but only spoke to tell the judge she did not have any questions about the proceedings.
Turner was indicted last year on murder, child abuse, theft and charitable fraud charges in the 2017 death of Olivia Gant.
Olivia was originally thought to have died as a result of her illnesses after Turner claimed Olivia suffered from a rare and fatal disease, seizures, autism, severe allergies, and intestinal failure.
However, doctors who became suspicious when Turner allegedly began claiming that her other daughter also had medical problems, contacted authorities began investigating Olivia death, according to the indictment.
Olivia was originally thought to have died as a result of her illnesses after Turner claimed the little girl suffered from a rare and fatal disease. Authorities later grew suspicious when Turner allegedly began claiming that her other daughter also had medical problems
Olivia’s actual cause of death has not been revealed.
It was originally attributed to intestinal failure but was later changed to undetermined after her body was exhumed and an autopsy was conducted as part of the investigation.
It found no physical evidence of that illness or other conditions that Turner claimed the girl suffered.
The indictment also claimed that Gant, also known as Kelly Renee Turner, withdrew all of Olivia’s medical care, arguing that the humane thing to do was to stop care and allow her daughter to die because her quality of life was so poor.
Olivia died a few weeks later and her cause of death was determined to be intestinal failure.
Turner’s efforts to fulfill her daughter’s ‘bucket list’ of dreams before she died drew publicity and donations, including an $11,000 ‘bat princess’ costume party provided by the Make-A-Wish-Foundation.
News of Olivia’s illness gained the sympathy of multiple charity organizations and was the ‘Bat Princess’ for a day, a Denver cop and spent the day as a firefighter as one of her final wishes.
Turner’s efforts to fulfill her daughter’s ‘bucket list’ of dreams before she died drew publicity and donations
She is accused of defrauding the Medicaid system of more than $538,000 and ripping off several other charities and fundraising platforms, including a GoFundMe page which raised $22,000.
There was also a bake sale that was held for the little girl and a Night for the Gant Girls at Chick-Fil-A.
When the Douglas County sheriff’s investigators began looking into the case a year after Olivia’s death, a grand jury indictment accused Turner, also known as Kelly Gant, of 13 separate counts [11 of them felonies], including first-degree murder.
Turner is accused of defrauding the Medicaid system, two foundations that provide memorable experiences to terminally ill children, and hundreds of people who donated to her online fundraising page.
It further alleges that she ripped off both a funeral home and a cemetery that handled her daughter’s funeral arrangements.
Turner created the GoFundMe page in 2015 and updated it regularly with news of Olivia’s ‘illnesses’.
There she claimed that Olivia started having medical issues at nine months old and as of November 2014, had ‘endured numerous hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, invasive testing just to sustain living.’
‘A few months ago, Olivia added a new diagnosis to her already long list. Which includes hydrocephalus, autism, seizure disorder, motility issues, sensory processing disorder, AV vascular malformation, focal cortico dysplasia, tumor on the paratiod gland and developmental delays,’ Turner wrote.
‘This diagnosis however doesn’t come with a cure, with treatments to prevent or a promise of life. This diagnosis Neurogastrointestinal Encephalomyopathy.’
According to the indictment, Turner spontaneously brought up Munchausen Syndrome by proxy – a psychological disorder in which parents or caregivers seek attention from the illness of their children or dependents and sometimes cause them injuries that require treatment – while being questioned by investigators but denied that she had it.
The disorder was made infamous by the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case in 2015 – which has been turned into several films and TV shows – in which Dee Dee Blanchard claimed her daughter Gypsy Rose suffered from leukemia and kept her confined to a wheelchair, despite not actually being ill.
According to a grand jury indictment, Olivia’s mother, Kelly Turner, faked her medical issues and ultimately killed her.
Attorneys for Turner however, have tried to shift the focus on the conduct of doctors and other medical providers who cared for the girl in the years before her death.
Defenses attorney, Ara Ohanian, is fighting to get all of Olivia’s medical records, including records of internal “peer review” documents where her case was discussed among those who treated her.
Between 2014 and 2017, he told the said in court February, it was medical professionals who determined that Olivia’s treatment “was both reasonable and necessary.”
Turner said during questioning said: ‘That has never been my case, like at all, whatsoever. You can talk to anyone that stood by my side through … all of this.’
Investigators say Olivia had been using a feeding tube and was admitted in July 2017 to Children’s Hospital Colorado, where doctors said her nutrition was deficient.
One doctor told investigators that Turner wanted to withdraw all medical care and artificial feeding for her daughter because her quality of life was so bad.
The indictment state that multiple doctors who didn’t believe Olivia was terminally ill battling a mother who was so persuasive that she convinced one of the physicians to sign a “do not resuscitate” order and ultimately withdrew all of her daughter’s medical care – including what is known as Total Parenteral Nutrition, which provided nourishment through an intravenous line.
Doctors had said Olivia wouldn’t be able to survive on IV nutrition.
Turner was given the option of taking her home on hospice care, according to the indictment.
Olivia died a few weeks later, on Aug. 20, 2017.
One of her multiple physicians, Dr. Robert Kramer, told investigators he was stunned by the turn of events. – “Dr. Kramer said that (Olivia) was not a terminal patient and was ‘shocked’ when he heard that Turner withdrew all medical care and (Olivia) passed away,” according to the affidavit.