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Jury returns guilty verdict in Shoals murder case

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 10:08 AM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Lauderdale County jury made quick work of it’s deliberations in the Derrick Turnley murder case on Wednesday.

Turnley showed no emotion as the jury foreman read the guilty verdict. His bond was quickly revoked and he was ordered held until his sentencing on December 2nd. Our partners from the Times Daily were in the courthouse for the three day trial.

Turnley took the stand in his own defense earlier this week, admitting he shot and killed Jeffrey “Bo” Cherry - but insisting it was an act of self defense. Under questioning, Turnley told the jury that he and Cherry were at an unlicensed bar, also called a “shot house” early in the morning of December 21, 2019. The two got into an argument over some moonshine that Turnley brought to the home. Turnley says they were both seated, but when Cherry stood up and pulled on his sleeve, he pulled a gun and shot him. Turnley says Cherry was facing him, but prosecutors say the evidence suggests Cherry had turned away. Turnley told jurors that the fact he called 911 himself and waited for police were evidence that he had done nothing wrong. But, ultimately, the jury disagreed.

“You can’t pull out a handgun and shoot somebody in the head because he pulled on your shirt,” District Attorney Chris Connolly told jurors.

“I did the very best I could for Derrick,” Defense attorney Tim Case said after the verdict. “I’ve known him, his mom and his family for a very long time. We fought as hard as we could. The jury has spoken and we very much respectfully disagree with their decision.”

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