Murder of Tina Towler and James Ferguson by Thurston Yerby on American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda

Mugshot of Thurston Yerby
Thurston Yerby was convicted of murdering Tina Towler and James Ferguson. Pic credit: Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office

American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda travels to the quiet town of South Laurel, Maryland, to investigate the particularly brutal murders of Tina Towler and her partner, James Ferguson. The pair were beaten to death in their apartment by Thurston Yerby.

The shocking crime was witnessed by Towler’s severely disabled daughter, 25-year-old Jasmine Gilbert. Gilbert suffered from cerebral palsy, which left her bedridden and unable to talk.

Gilbert required help from a carer who regularly came to their home, and it was this carer who, on the morning of May 2, 2013, discovered the battered remains of 45-year-old Towler and 42-year-old Ferguson. The pair had been beaten with a variety of weapons, including flashlights, pot and pans, and a heavy vase. They had also both been stabbed with a knife.

Gilbert was thankfully unharmed in the incident. When the police arrived, they found the young woman lying on her bed in the corner with a sheet over her head. The bodies of her mother and Ferguson were lying nearby in a heap. The cops concluded that the killer had known of Gilbert’s disabilities so had not viewed her as a threat.

Thurston Lamont Yerby was the No.1 murder suspect

The cops had Thurston Yerby as their main suspect as soon as they began investigating the murders. Yerby had been in a love triangle situation with Towler and Ferguson.

The investigators concluded that on the evening of May 1, Yerby had locked Towler in the bedroom and possibly sexually assaulted her. Ferguson then broke the door down, at which point the killer beat the couple to death with whatever objects he could find close to hand.

However, Yerby wasn’t arrested until September because the police needed to gather evidence and await the results of DNA testing. It was with the wait as his DNA was found on the knife.

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Thurston Lamont Yerby was convicted on two counts of second-degree murder and was ordered to serve 30 years in jail for each offense.

More from American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda

Follow the links to read about more murderers investigated by American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda.

Andrew Derenzy was a 16-year-old teenager from North Carolina with a promising future when he was abducted from a friend’s house by a group of thugs. He was bound up and robbed before Devon Hall shot him dead.

Robert Harvey had already been convicted of murder, but incredibly, had been released early and went on to kill again. He stabbed medical student Carmen Sanders multiple times in her Mississippi apartment and also stole her belongings.

American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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