Accused lawyer’s son is trying to help clear his name in alleged murder case

Missouri lawyer John Loveless, left, was arrested last March in Cancun in connection with the alleged murder of Tamra Turpin of Missouri, in photo at right. (Source:

The son of Missouri attorney and businessman John Loveless, accused of murdering his girlfriend in Playa del Carmen, is in Mexico trying to help his father clear his name.

Tyler Loveless traveled to Mexico on Friday March 4, D. Keith Wilson, who is John Loveless’ Franklin Financial Corp. business partner, told The Missourian newspaper.

The elder Loveless, 59, is being held in a Mexican jail while an investigation is being conducted into the death of his girlfriend, Tamra Turpin, 36, also a Missouri resident.

According to Mexican authorities, Turpin was found dead last Wednesday morning, March 2, in a condominium the couple had rented in the Caribbean resort city of Playa del Carmen. A forensic examination concluded she died of asphyxia by strangulation, the Associated Press reported.

Mexican federal police said in a statement that Loveless was detained at the Cancun airport before he was to board a flight to Atlanta.

John Loveless was detained at Cancun International Airport before boarding a flight to Atlanta. (PHOTO: palco quintanarroense)

According to the prosecutor’s office in Quintana Roo state, where both Playa del Carmen and Cancun are located, Loveless faces a criminal homicide investigation in connection with Turpin’s death.

“Tyler went there to get him (John) an attorney,” Wilson told The Missourian newspaper. “He also is hiring an independent pathologist to come in and do a second autopsy.”

Loveless was in custody in Playa del Carmen, the AP reported. Appearing before a judge on Friday, he declined to make an official declaration in the case, and at the time it was not clear whether he had a local attorney.

Wilson said he spoke with Tyler Loveless on Monday.

“He asked us to send money,” he said.

Wilson also said on Monday that the son has had the opportunity to visit his father three times since his arrival late last week.

“He said John was doing pretty good under the circumstances,” Wilson said. “He (John) is in a bad place to be with the legal system they have.”

Wilson said he and Loveless have been business partners for about 25 years.

“I absolutely believe he’s innocent,” Wilson said. “I’ve never known him to be a violent man.”

Meanwhile, Turpin’s sister said Monday that the woman’s boyfriend told her she overdosed on prescription medications during a suicide bid after an argument.

Mexican authorities say Tamra Turpin, 36, of the St. Louis suburb of Union, died about 9 a.m. Wednesday March 2 of strangulation, and that 59-year-old attorney John Loveless is being held as part of a homicide investigation.

Missouri lawyer John Loveless, left, has been detained in Playa del Carmen in connection with the death of Tamra Turpin of Missouri, in photo at right. (Source:
Missouri lawyer John Loveless, left, has been detained in Playa del Carmen in connection with the death of Tamra Turpin of Missouri, in photo at right. (Source:

Turpin’s oldest sister, Jodi Mills, said Loveless insisted to her via text messages the day Turpin was found dead in a condo the couple had rented, that she had taken “a bunch of pills” after an argument between the two the previous night.

“He said she was crazy out of her mind and had seizures” after taking the unspecified medication, Mills, who lives in the town of Mexico, Missouri, told The Associated Press.

Mills said Loveless later told her he canceled an initial call for an ambulance because Turpin was “resting comfortably.” Mills said Loveless told her by mid-afternoon that Turpin died, adding that “he said he was sorry and had no words.”

“I immediately called him, thinking that surely it’s not true,” Mills said. “I remember talking to him briefly, and she said she was gone. After that, I don’t know what the rest of our conversation was.”

“It’s crazy, and I’m still in shock,” she added. “It just seems like a bad dream.”

Mills said she’s awaiting word from the U.S. consulate about sharing the text exchange with Mexican investigators and that she’s “still keeping an open mind” about Loveless.

“I can’t be judgmental when I don’t have all the facts,” Mills said. “I see where it’s pointing, but I respect that he has family and that they need to be sure when happened. Anger gets you nowhere.”

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said Monday it had no new information on the case.

Mills said Turpin and Loveless had been friends for several years, had dated for roughly the past year and traveled frequently in recent months, including a trip to Florida weeks ago.

“He wined and dined her and treated her very well,” Mills said, describing Loveless as “very nice” and her sister as an animal-loving summer enthusiast who was “very spunky, feisty and fun.”

Turpin, nagged by lingering migraines and back pain dating to a car wreck when she was a teenager “always had some depression” after her dad died in 2001, Mills said. Her remains are to be laid to rest next to her father’s burial plot after her body is returned to Missouri, perhaps as early as this week, Mills said.

“That would make her happy,” Mills said.

Loveless has had no disciplinary action against him as an attorney, the state’s Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, which investigates ethics complaints against lawyers, said Monday.