The Richmond Register

Local News

October 5, 2012

Turner avoids trial with guilty plea

RICHMOND — Mitchell Ray Turner was scheduled to go on trial for murder Monday morning, but early Friday evening he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. The state recommended a sentence of 15 years.

 Because first-degree manslaughter is a violent offense, Turner will have to serve at least 80 percent of his sentence. Madison Circuit Judge Jean C. Logue scheduled sentencing for Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

 He already has served nearly two years in the Madison County Detention Center, which means he could be released after serving about another 10 years and 9 months.

 Two years ago Oct. 5, Turner, 43, was charged in the beating death of a drinking buddy, Gary Deaton, 53.

Deaton’s body was found the night before on Liza Allen Road in the Red Lick area, according to police reports.

When questioned by Logue, Turner said he believed the state could have found him guilty of the charge to which he was pleading guilty.

He told the judge he and Deaton had been drinking moonshine and then got into an argument that “went too far.” However, Turner claimed he could not remember how Deaton had died.

Deaton died of blunt force trauma to the head, trunk and extremities and had an open skull fracture, according to the medical examiner’s report. The victim also suffered from “sharp force trauma," it stated.

As Logue asked Turner a series of questions to determine if he understood the consequences of pleading guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter instead of having a jury hear the murder charge, the deep-voiced man intoned affirmative replies.

When Logue asked Turner if he had ever been diagnosed with a mental illness, he said he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He had undergone two psychiatric evaluations, one by a state psychiatrist and another called by the defense.

In 2006, Turner survived an attack in which Margaret Faye Jack was shot to death at her Big Hill mobile home. Turner was shot several times, then stabbed, as two men looted the trailer.

Tony Clayton Hodge and Douglas Wayne Hall were convicted in the attack. Hodge received a life sentence, while Hall is serving a 45-year sentence.

A conviction of first-degree manslaughter was among the potential verdicts Turner’s attorney Brian Barker said he would have argued for if the case had gone to trial.

Other potential verdicts the defense would have wanted the jury to consider included guilty but mentally ill, murder under extreme emotional distress and second-degree manslaughter.

After Logue adjourned the hastily called proceeding, Turner hugged relatives who had sat behind him in the mostly empty courtroom. He wiped his eyes before turning to leave for the detention center.

Bill Robinson can be reached at or at 624-6690.



Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results