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KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

State Calls First Witness in Capital Murder Trial

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

The trial against accused murderer James David White is underway and the Prosecution is unfolding a complex story of greed and jealousy.

But will it be enough to convince a second jury?

The Prosecution and the Defense's story of who killed Lonnie Turner Senior has stayed the same since a jury deadlocked during the first trial in 2003.

The state says White acted alone when he gunned down the prominent Navasota business man in his own home.

Defense attorneys say it was Turner's own son, who pointed a gun at White and forced him to kill his father.

Grimes County District Attorney Tuck McLain told jurors Lonnie Turner Junior was a suspect in the murder case from the beginning, until DNA found on a mask near the crime scene linked White, a long-time family friend, to the crime.

McLain says White was always jealous of his friend Lonnie Jr. and killed his father because of it.

Defense Attorney David Barron pointed out that Lonnie Jr. had more to gain from his father's death because he was the sole heir to a successful funeral home business.

The murder weapon belonged to Lonnie Jr. but the state says the gun was missing for two weeks before the murder and White put it back where Lonnie Jr. kept it after he shot Turner.

The victim's brother testified today that he paged his brother around 10 o'clock the night of his murder and never received a call back, which was unusual.

Prosecutors hope this will be one piece of evidence that supports their theory of when Turner was murdered and that Lonnie Jr. could not have been there.

Both families were in the courtroom Wednesday.

White's mother says she just wants justice to be served.

Turner's family says there are still questions that need to be answered before that can happen.

Lonnie Turner Junior is expected to testify during the trial.

The state will continue to call witness Thursday.


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