Sikeston woman pleads guilty to 2008 murder

Tambra Turner
Tambra Turner

By Crystal Britt - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The family of a 20-year-old Cape Girardeau woman murdered two and a half years ago wanted the case to go to trial.

That will no longer happen.

In February of 2008 Chabreshea Egson was shot and killed at a home on North Spanish Street in Cape Girardeau.

Tambra Turner Gilmore of Sikeston became the number one suspect.

After running from the law for more than a year police caught her, arrested her, and brought her to Cape Girardeau County.

Monday, Tambra Turner Gilmore pleaded guilty to second degree murder, and first degree burglary. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

It's not the time behind bars the victim's family hoped for, but the prosecution says given the lack of cooperation from a key witness a jury trial may not have gone in the state's favor.

Tambra Turner, 31, whose attorney corrected the court saying her name is Tambra Gilmore, entered a guilty plea.

She was set to stand trial later this year.

"If you plead guilty this morning that trial will not happen in November nor anytime you understand," said Judge William Syler.

After Chabreshea Egson's death in 2008 the number one suspect, Turner-Gilmore, left the area.

"America's Most Wanted" featured the Sikeston woman which led to her arrest in Chicago.

It was relief for the victim's family who longed for justice.

"The results today wasn't what I was looking for," said Edna Kuykendoll.

Egson's grandmother stood before Judge Syler disapproving of a plea agreement.

"We were not happy at all. No justice at all, " said Kuykendoll.

"I expected more," said Trisie Egson-Chabreshea, Egson's Mother.

Prosecutor Morley Swingle says he too wanted more.

"The sentence of 10 years is lower than I would have wanted for a murder case," said Swingle. "In fact, it's the lowest I've ever agreed to."

He says the case was a real roll of the dice.

"Because the only real eyewitness to the shooting, Lloyd Gilmore the husband of the defendant, said he was invoking his spousal privilege and was going to refuse to testify completely," said Swingle.

"We needed him, couldn't get him. I'm very disappointed," said Trisie Egson.

Swingle says the case was based on circumstantial evidence, and there were some inconsistent statements.

"For her taking the 10 years was the lesser evil. For me, allowing her to take the 10 was a necessary evil for her to get off the streets and not let her get away with murder," said Swingle.

Even with admitting guilt, Turner Gilmore never admitted to pulling the trigger. She said in court her intent the night of the crime was to commit an assault. During the course of that, she said, Egson was killed.

"I'm not happy with 10 years, but I'm happier than I would have been had I been standing in the courtroom when I heard the jury foreman say not guilty," said Swingle.

It's a decision the victim's family is learning to live with as they continue to mourn their loss.

"She didn't deserve it. She really didn't," said Trisie Egson.

Tambra Turner Gilmore has to serve at least 85 percent of her 10 year prison sentence.

She was initially charged with first degree murder, which if convicted could have given her a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole.

She was also charged with armed criminal action, and property damage. Those charges were dropped.

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