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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • S. Dale Turner murder trial testimony begins

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  • Update: Testimony has concluded. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 2, closing statements will take place prior to jury deliberation. An additional article about the testimony in the case that occurred Friday afternoon will be posted on bastropenterprise.com tomorrow morning.
    As rain fell from a grey sky on Friday, the trial of S. Dale Turner began in Bastrop in the courtroom of Judge Alvin Sharp with Jerry Jones, Fourth Judicial District Attorney serving as prosecutor and Carl Cooper as the defendant's attorney.
    The trial began with an opening statement from Jones that reflected on the brutality of the murder of 79-year-old Billy Wayne McCready of Bastrop and introduced the idea that robbery was a motive in the crime to the jurors.
    Jones stated that McCready kept money on him and that Turner had already borrowed funds from the man on the day the crime occurred. He also advised jurors that they would see graphic evidence, including still photos and videos, that they would not like.
    After Jones opening statement, the defense deferred their opening statement, which may still occur later in the trial.
    This allowed the prosecution to immediately begin calling witnesses in the case, and the first person called was McCready's next door neighbor.
    In his testimony, the neighbor revealed that he become concerned when he noticed a lawn mower was left out in the yard overnight. When no one answered the door, he looked inside and saw disarray including a blanket and table.
    When asked what he saw next, the witness had a hard time discussing finding McCready's body and discovering that he was unresponsive. This neighbor phoned 911.
    Other witnesses called by the prosecution included an employee at the Chevron convenient store at the corner of McCreight and the Crossett Highway and Terry Wyatt, a former investigator with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office who worked the case and has since retired.
    Wyatt reviewed security footage from the Chevron store which showed Turner's van in the parking lot parked near a storm drain. When Wyatt looked in the storm drain, he found McCready's wallet and a pair of gloves.
    Testimony before lunch concluded with members of Turner's family discussing seeing him on the day of the murder. The trial was scheduled to resume at 1:40 p.m. with additional testimony. Visit bastropenterprise.com for more updates.

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