Aug 26, 2021
In addition to being a successful Bank of America executive who was profiled by Essence Magazine in 2017, Michelle Annette Avan was a mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and prominent member of our community. Tragically, Michelle’s life was taken on August 3, when a perpetrator entered her Reseda, California, home and fatally beat her.
Michelle’s body was discovered by her son, Travon, on the morning of August 5. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has charged Anthony Duwayne Turner – Michelle’s ex-boyfriend – with one count each of murder and first-degree residential burglary.
“Ms. Avan was a leader in our community, and this senseless act of violence has resulted in a significant loss to us all,” L.A. Deputy District Attorney, George Gascón, said in a public statement after the charges against Turner were announced.
Turner has pleaded not guilty, and a preliminary hearing is reportedly set for September 30. But because District Attorney Gascón did not file a special circumstances murder charge, Turner was able to post bail, and is now walking freely among us.
Seeing Turner walk in and out of court despite having been charged with such a heinous crime was a traumatic experience for Michelle Avan’s family. If a special circumstances charge had been filed by Gascón, Turner would have likely been denied bail, and the Avan family would have at least been given peace of mind knowing that he was in custody until trial.
As we indicated at a press conference earlier this month, what’s even more troubling is that District Attorney Gascón has expressed that he may never apply a special circumstances murder charge for Michelle Avan’s brutal slaying. If a special circumstances murder charge is not filed, Turner could potentially receive a lesser count of second degree murder from the court. And in our experience in dealing with Gascón on a prior murder case, second degree murder could easily lead to a “sweetheart deal” with a plea bargain allowing just a seven-year prison sentence. Such a light sentence for Michelle Avan’s brutal murder is an unacceptable injustice.
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is fighting pro bono on behalf of Michelle’s surviving children – Trevon and Nyah – to ensure that such a miscarriage of justice does not occur. D.A. Gascon must enforce the special circumstances murder charge in Michelle’s case to ensure Turner spends the rest of his life behind bars.
A rally for justice has been scheduled for August 30, and the entire DLG team encourages members of the community to come out and show their support.
Michelle’s family, DLG team members, victims of crime groups, domestic violence awareness groups, victims’ advocates, supporters, and community members will all come together on Monday at 10 a.m.
The event location is as follows:
Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office (Front Steps)
211 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Supporters will gather at the Justice for Michelle Avan Rally to raise awareness about her case and the blanket policies currently in place under the Gascón Administration that are an injustice to all crime victims and their families.
Michelle Avan was a beloved member of our community who is dearly missed. Since her tragic passing, many have paid tribute:
“We are devastated by the news. Michelle was a valued member of our company for more than 20 years and will be greatly missed,” Bank of America said in a statement.
“I don’t wish this on anybody, but I just wish it wasn’t my mom… She was too beautiful. She was too kind. She was too charismatic,” Trevon Avan said.
“Her physical body isn’t here with us anymore. And it just breaks my heart because she was my best friend,” Nyah Avan said.
“She let her light shine. I walked on her coattails and I followed in her shadow… If I got light, it’s because Michelle shined it on me,” Brent Hamlet, a colleague of Michelle’s, said.
Please join the Avan family and members of the Dordulian Law Group team on August 30 for the Justice for Michelle Avan Rally.
For continuous updates, please visit the Justice for Michelle Avan Facebook page.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.