11 Days After Driveway Killing, Texas Man Is Arrested

Terry Turner, a 65-year-old Texas man, told a 911 dispatcher that he “killed a guy” who was sitting in a car in his driveway, an affidavit said. A grand jury is deciding on charges, his lawyer said.,


Continue reading the main story

Supported by

Continue reading the main story

Eleven days after a Texas man fatally shot a person in his driveway and told a 911 dispatcher “I just killed a guy,” the police arrested him in the killing, according to the authorities and an arrest affidavit.

On Friday, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said that it had obtained an arrest warrant on Oct. 21 for the Texas man, Terry Turner, 65, in the killing of Adil Dghoughi, 31. Mr. Turner was taken into custody on Friday after turning himself in, and released on bond, records show.

A grand jury is deciding whether to charge Mr. Turner, Larry D. Bloomquist, his lawyer, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “We do believe that this was self-defense, in defense of his property,” Mr. Bloomquist said. “And at this point, it is a tragic event for everybody.”

“We are not going to try the case in the press,” he added.

But the family, friends and supporters of Mr. Dghoughi are still seeking answers about why it took 11 days for the police to arrest Mr. Turner, who told a 911 dispatcher he had shot a man sitting in a car in his driveway, according to the affidavit. The shooting, which unfolded in Martindale, a city about 30 miles south of Austin, has also focused attention on the state’s self-defense laws, which give residents the right to use force to protect property or themselves.

In the 911 call, Mr. Turner told the police that Mr. Dghoughi had “pointed a gun” at him, the affidavit said.

No firearms were found in the car or in Mr. Dghoughi’s possession, the document said.

“This is a case about someone who had every opportunity to avoid conflict and not cause the death of an innocent young man, and he chose to do the complete opposite,” Mehdi Cherkaoui, a lawyer and the spokesman for Mr. Dghoughi’s family, said in an interview on Tuesday.

He said the 11-day gap between the shooting and Mr. Turner’s arrest was “the most outrageous thing about this case” after the shooting itself. “Usually police make arrests first and then ask questions, especially in a murder case,” Mr. Cherkaoui said. “I can only speculate that perhaps the officers showed up to the scene and to one extent or another believed his story.”

The sheriff’s office, which did not respond on Tuesday to emailed questions about the case, said in its statement last week that detectives had “worked tirelessly on this case since the incident occurred,” and conducted “multiple interviews and executed multiple search warrants” during the investigation.

As his family raised awareness and more details emerged, the shooting of Mr. Dghoughi gained a high profile in the state, with coverage in local and national media. Vigils were held last weekend in Austin in front of the Capitol building, and another event is scheduled for Oct. 30 in Dallas, at the landmark where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Some of the events were organized by the Council of American-Islamic Relations, which has been working with Mr. Dghoughi’s family. Faizan Syed, the executive director of C.A.I.R. in Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth, said the authorities had initially given the family little information beyond a statement on Oct. 11 about the shooting.

In that statement, the sheriff’s office said that a “homeowner confronted a suspicious vehicle parked outside the residence” and that the shooter was being “cooperative.” It said a man with a gunshot wound was “transported to the hospital for critical, life threatening injuries.”

“After we sent out press releases and started getting media coverage, he was still not arrested,” Mr. Syed said.

His organization also released a timeline of events related to the shooting. It said Mr. Dghoughi, who studied finance after emigrating from Morocco in 2013, had went to a barbecue with his girlfriend in Converse, which is about 15 miles northeast of downtown San Antonio, on Oct. 10.

He left around midnight, and he drove his girlfriend’s Audi alone back to her home in Maxwell, in the Austin metropolitan area, and then left there at about 3 a.m., according to Ring footage.

Mr. Cherkaoui, the lawyer, said Mr. Dghoughi’s girlfriend said he had apparently wanted to “decompress, or was on the way back” and possibly got lost.

Somehow, Mr. Dghoughi ended up at Mr. Turner’s house on Tina’s Trail in Martindale, a drive of between seven to 10 minutes, according to the timeline provided by C.A.I.R.

According to the affidavit, Mr. Turner told the authorities that he woke up to use the bathroom, crossed the living room and foyer, and saw a vehicle in the driveway with its lights off.

He retrieved his handgun from his bedroom and went outside, the affidavit said. The car lights then turned on, the driver reversed down the driveway and Mr. Turner “chased after it,” the document said. At the end of the driveway, Mr. Turner struck the driver’s side window with his handgun and then fired, “striking the victim,” the affidavit said.

Mr. Turner called 911. “I just killed a guy,” he told the dispatcher, according to the affidavit. “Tried to pull a gun at me. I shot,” he said, adding: “He started racing away and I ran after him. He pointed a gun at me and I shot.”

At about 4 a.m., deputies went to the house and found a man, who was later identified as Mr. Dghoughi, with a gunshot wound to the head, sitting in the car, the affidavit said. He was taken to the hospital for “lifesaving interventions that were ultimately unsuccessful,” it said.

Leave a Reply