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Murder suspect pleads not guilty

By: Angela Beavin Email
By: Angela Beavin Email

A man answers to a murder charge in court today, as officials continue to investigate what might have led to a fatal fight.

Gary Deaton was found dead near Berea yesterday. Mitchell Turner is charged with killing him.

41-year-old Mitchell Turner stood before a Madison County judge this morning, and pleaded not guilty.

Police say he and 53-year-old Gary Deaton got into a fight Monday night, and Turner beat Deaton to death. That happened near Liza Allen road, outside Berea.

Turner survived a deadly home invasion back in 2006. However, his girlfriend at the time, Margaret Faye Jackson, was killed, and her daughter now says Turner's second chance in life was wasted.

"Mitchell was a survivor of my mom's situation and I feel like he had a chance... God allowed him to live and my mother did not," says Jackson's daughter, Lisa Cruse, who also knows Turner.

Police say Turner and Deaton were drinking together before the fight broke out. Investigators are waiting on autopsy results to determine just how Deaton died.

An attorney is being appointed to Turner, and he is scheduled to be back in court October 13 for a preliminary hearing.

Turner is in jail in Madison County on a $250,000 bond.

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