Self-defense claim could clear Adams Co. murder suspect



Posted on June 5, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 6:31 PM

WASHTUCNA, Wash. -- An Adams County man is being held in jail on a Second Degree Murder charge after authorities said he shot his elderly neighbor several times. However, the suspect might be released because authorities think it may have been in self-defense.

The shooting happened a couple miles north of Washtucna Tuesday night.

Prosecutors have not filed formal charges against the suspect, Larry Turner, 60, and there is a possibility they may not.

According to court documents, Turner called 911 and reported that he had shot and killed his neighbor, Ronnie Dick, 71. Authorities said they saw Dick lying on his back. They say he was dead with a 12-gauge shotgun by his side.

Investigators interviewed Turner several hours later, according to court documents. Turner told investigators he and Dick had been drinking at Dick’s home but dick became aggressive, hit him in the face, punched him and threatened to kill him. Court documents said Dick passed out and Turner went home.

MORE: Fatal shooting is hard to swallow for small Washtucna community

Neighbor Brian Dainty said Turner took care of the landowners cattle and lived at the property. He said Dick lost his wife a few years ago which was hard on him.

“I’ve heard other stories that alcohol may have been a part of his life. I’ve seen nothing but good from the guy. I’ve never seen the bad part,” said Dainty.

According to court documents, Turner armed himself with a .357 revolver when he got home because he was worried Dick might come over. The affidavit said Dick went her a half an hour later, pointed a rifle in the air, yelled at Turner that he stole his dog and fired a shot at him. Documents said the shot missed and Turner fired his gun at least three times.

Court papers said investigators discovered an entry bullet hole in Dick’s back, another wound on his cheek and thigh.

The Adams County Sheriff said he recommended the murder charge to prosecutors so they could have grounds to detain Turner for at least 72 hours. If prosecutors do not file formal charges within that period, by law they have to release Turner.

Prosecutors have not commented on the case.

Turner could get out of jail if he posts the $5,000 bail the judge set Thursday.