Turner Family Speaks After Father Was Charged With Family Violence

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - 43-year-old James Darrell Turner is in jail after police say he beat his daughter while intoxicated early last Saturday morning and then locked her nearly naked outside.

Some believe his anger was caused by his hatred of his daughter's African-American boyfriend. On Tuesday night, the family spoke out about the ordeal to NewsWest 9.

Turner's daughter and ex-wife said the reason for his violence may not be so black and white.

"It's not about a black and white issue. It is mainly about him being a drunk and he doesn't like black people," Eugenie Turner, James' ex-wife, said.

Now that Turner is in jail and his daughter, Tommie Turner, has recovered and gone back to work, questions are still buzzing for the family.

Both Turner's ex-wife and daughter blame his alcoholism for his violence but still can't explain his anger around his daughter's African-American boyfriend while drunk.

"He's a caring person but the alcohol has changed him so much," Tommie said.

Eugenie said this incident is similar to ones that happened with Tommie's previous African-American boyfriends.

Eugenie took him into her rental home with Tommie and Tommie's two children after he suffered a heart attack.

Tommie didn't want to show her face on camera, but she told NewsWest 9, that early Saturday morning she and her boyfriend were in her room when her intoxicated father came in and started trying to pull the boyfriend out of the house.

When Tommie protested, her father threw a punch.

"He just kind of went to hit me and then he just hit me in the eye and scratched me in a few places," Tommie said. "I went to the back door, the dogs were barking, just trying to let them know that everything was OK. He pushed me outside, locked me out."

She was locked out of her home in the frozen morning in nothing but a T-shirt.

She then called her mother.

"When I first got here, there was one police officer here," Eugenie said. "He was coming around the house and he told me to get back in my van. He asked if I had a key to the front door and I said 'yeah.'"

Tommie's boyfriend let her back in the house where she threw on some clothes and confronted her father, who was holding her six-month-old boy outside.

"She's telling him 'give me my baby' and he said 'no,'" Eugenie said. "Finally the cop made him give her the baby. And then he arrested him right on the spot."

Now Turner is in county jail held at $15,000 bond and Eugenie plans on filing a protective order against him with the District Attorney.

"They're supposed to call us, let us know if he gets out," Eugenie said. "And if he shows up here, I'm calling the law. Every time he shows up, I'm gonna call them."

Tommie suffered a large black eye and scratches on her chest and legs, but appeared to be healing on Tuesday when NewsWest 9 talked with her.

James Turner is being held for a third-degree felony of family violence as well as a misdemeanor charge of failure to identify with police.