Tennessee Man Killed 4-Month-Old Son, Child's Mother a Day Before Court-Ordered Paternity Test Because He Didn't want the Child's Responsibility

Enoch Z. Turner, Heather and Bentley Cook
Heather and Bentley Cook (left) and Enoch Z. Turner. Twitter

A 25-year-old man in Tennessee will spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing his 4-month-old son and the child's 32-year-old mother, stabbing both victims to death in an apparent bid to evade being legally and financially responsible for the little boy.

Shelby County District Court Judge Chris Craft on Saturday sentenced Enoch Z. Turner to serve life in prison for the 2019 slayings of Heather Cook and young Bentley Cook, according to court records obtained by Law & Crime.

Turner Set House on Fire After Killings to Cover-Up the Crime

Prosecutors said Turner broke into Cook's home and stabbed her more than 100 times before stabbing Bentley 10 times and setting the house on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence of the killings.

Prosecutors said that Turner broke into Cook's home and stabbed her "over 100 times" then stabbed Bentley 10 times before setting the house on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence of the killings.

Following a four-week trial, jurors found Turner guilty on two counts of first-degree murder as well as one count each of aggravated child abuse, aggravated arson, and especially aggravated burglary.

Craft sentenced Turner to two life sentences, to be served consecutively, meaning one after the other. He also ordered Turner to serve 12 years on the burglary charge and 25 years on the aggravated child abuse and aggravated arson charges, which all run concurrent to the first life sentence, meaning at the same time.

Cook Had Filed Legal Proceedings Against Turner to Establish Turner as the Father, Vented on Single Moms Facebook Group

According to news releases from the Shelby County District Attorney's Office, Cook had initiated legal proceedings against Turner to establish that he was Bentley's father. Just two weeks before the deaths, Cook had written on a single mothers Facebook page about the trouble she had been having.

"When I got pregnant it was by someone I had just began seeing. When I told him I was pregnant, he asked me to 'remedy the situation.' My son was born 4 ½ months ago and the father has never even attempted to see him.," she wrote, adding that she had filed for child support and the father was just served the papers a day ago.

Heather Cook
Heather Cook's post on the Single Moms group two weeks before her killing. Facebook

"He can't believe that I'm asking for any support for a baby that he helped to create," Cook wrote. "He thinks since he offered to pay for an abortion that he shouldn't have to pay me anything now."

Turner was scheduled to take a paternity test on Sept. 14, 2019.

Turned was 'Motivated by a Desire to Evade His Paternal Responsibilities'

However, on Sept. 13, 2019, deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and firefighters responded to calls about a fire at Cook's residence in the 6900 block of Bennington Circle. The initial call came from one of Cook's family members who said they "found the house filled with smoke."

Authorities at the scene soon located Heather Cook and Bentley Cook, each suffering from multiple stab wounds in an upstairs bedroom of the home. They were pronounced dead at the scene. The fire marshal said that the fire appeared to have been started intentionally in the center of the room where the bodies were found.

Authorities quickly homed in on Turner as a suspect after family members told investigators that he and Heather Cook had been "in an argument over child custody issues." Turner was located and arrested later that same day.

Prosecutors said that Turner was "motivated by a desire to evade his paternal responsibilities" when he brutally took the lives of Heather and Bentley Cook.