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White Accepts Plea Deal for Murder

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

The murder mystery that shocked a small town, has finally come to a close.

James David White has accepted a plea bargain from the Grimes County District Attorney for the murder of prominent Navasota businessman Lonnie Turner Senior.

But the charge against him suggests he didn't act alone.

A chapter has closed in the Lonnie Turner Senior murder case.

Admitted gunman James David White has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the killing.

But the case may not be over yet.

White has always admitted to shooting Lonnie Turner Senior in 2002...but he contends he wasn't acting alone.

Now he's accepted a deal with the state for 20 years in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit capital murder, and another 20 years for robbery with credit for time already served.

The sentence will run concurrently, so White won't spend more than 20 years behind bars.

"He's relieved to get it over with. And he's willing to pay his debt to society," said Defense Attorney David Barron.

A lesser charge of conspiracy suggests the defense may have been on the right track by implicating Turner's own son as the mastermind behind the crime.

"I know Lonnie Turner Jr's guilty. I'm hoping that new evidence will develop so he can be prosecuted. The state agreed to conspiracy to commit capital murder so they are acknowledging a conspiracy with someone although the name is not in the paperwork," said Barron.

District Attorney Tuck McLain says he isn't ruling out charges against Lonnie Junior.

"There's no statue of limitations on murder so if we get evidence on friends, on Mr. Turner Jr. or anyone we will follow up and if there's enough evidence we'll indict and prosecute," said McLain.

But after two mistrials, it was important to McLain to get some closure for the Turner family.

"I was determined to stick with this one until we got some justice," said McLain.

The four year saga now has an ending, but there are plenty of pages left to fill.

"This is the closest thing to a novel type case. You could write a book about it," said McLain.

Because there wasn't a finding of deadly weapon, White does not have to serve half of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.

Which means he could be out of prison in as little as 6 or 7 years.


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