Arizona man accused of killing landlord over rent dispute

A Golden Valley man is facing murder charges for killing his landlord after they had a dispute over rent, according to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said Michael Turner Jr., 31, was charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of 42-year-old Joshua Blake.

Turner Jr. had reportedly been living in Blake's house, and days before the 42-year-old disappeared, they had argued about nonpayment of rent. Blake threatened a possible eviction, according to deputies.

"Blake had also allegedly taken the blame for Turner Jr. shooting a subject at the property on June 8th, 2022 and threatened to go to the police to report Turner Jr. being the actual shooter," officials said in a statement.

Turner Jr. is accused of shooting and killing his landlord at some point after the argument.

Another man, 26-year-old Hunter McGuire, was also accused of taking part in Blake's murder. He was wanted for multiple murders in Arizona and Nevada, but was later found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a desert area east of Kingman.

Blake had not been seen since Aug. 3 and had been reported missing on Aug. 31. His remains were found buried near an abandoned property near McGuire's home months later, on Oct. 26.

Mohave County detectives said that Turner Jr. tried to notarize a bill of sale to take over possession of Blake's house soon after he disappeared.  On Sept. 1, he was pulled over in Blake's vehicle and arrested for prohibited firearm and narcotics possession - charges unrelated to the murder.

Turner Jr., who has remained in jail since his arrest, now faces a first-degree murder charge after investigators confirmed in October that the human remains they found belonged to Blake.

"The current decomposition stage of the body was consistent with the time frame of when Blake had gone missing," officials said.

Loved ones speak out

Blake's family is, of course, heartbroken. They call him a hard-working provider.

"He was a great dad," Taylore, his daughter said.

That’s how loved ones describe him.

"He worked a lot, but he mainly worked a lot to make sure he could keep food on the table," Taylore said.

Now, his children and their mother are mourning his loss after his disappearance turned into his death.

"What really raised a big question was when he missed our little brother’s birthday," she said.

The allegations are disturbing and distressing to the family because Turner Jr. was far from a stranger.

"They were friends, like our kids have played together, they’ve stayed the night at his house," Jessica Verlander said.

As for Blake's kids, Pacific and Taylore, they want their dad to know this, "I love him."

Blake's family is trying to work out his funeral arrangements and the confusion surrounding the house, which they say will likely require an attorney to sort out the mess.

A GoFundMe for the family has been set up:

Michael Turner Jr.

Michael Turner Jr.

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