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Sirens & Gavels

Man gets 13 years for shooting death

 A Spokane man will spend 13 years in prison for killing a man in a dispute that began with a beer can tossed from a car window.

Allan L. Turnipseed, 52, claimed self-defense in the June 14, 2007 shooting death of Joshua A. Smith, 24 (pictured above). A jury convicted him of first-degree manslaughter last month.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza sentenced Turnipseed on Friday to 13 1/2 years in prison, which includes five extra years because a weapon was used.

Turnipseed shot Smith twice as Smith was in his car near Eighth Avenue and Ferrall Street. The second bullet was fired into his back.

The location of the fatal shot, coupled with Turnipseed’s admission that he’d smoked marijuana before the deadly confrontation, factored into Cozza’s sentence, the harshest allowed.

“Marijuana makes people stupid. It makes people do stupid things,” Cozza said.

Turnipseed has been in Spokane County Jail since the jury verdict on Nov. 13. A jury couldn’t reach a verdict during his first trial on a second-degree murder charge in April.

Read the rest of my story in tomorrow’s Spokesman-Review.

Read a story previewing the first trial here.


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