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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Second trial begins in shooting death

The second trial of a Spokane man accused of murdering another man in a dispute near his home more than two years ago began today in Spokane County Superior Court.

Allan L. Turnipseed, who was 51 when a jury couldn't reach a verdict in April, is charged with second-degree murder for shooting 24-year-old Joshua A. Smith to death on June 14, 2007.

Turnipseed says the shooting was in self-defense. A mistrial was declared April 17 following a nine-day trial and a day and a half of deliberations. Smith’s death came after two encounters with Turnipseed on consecutive days in the neighborhood of Eighth Avenue and Ferrall Street near Turnipseed’s home.

The first confrontation ended with Turnipseed retreating to his home after he said Smith went to retrieve a tire iron from the trunk of his car, according to police reports, but the two saw each other the next day while driving in the same area.

That confrontation ended with Turnipseed firing two shots from his .380 Colt pistol at Smith as Smith was in the driver’s seat of his Mazda, according to testimony from the first trial. At issue during that first trial was what Smith was doing with the car – trying to drive away, as Deputy Prosecutor Steven Garvin said, or trying to run Turnipseed down, as defense attorney Senit Lutgen said.

Garvin is prosecuting the case again. Deanna Crull is representing Turnipseed. Judge Sam Cozza is presiding over the case, which will go through Thursday and resume Monday.

It's expected to go to the jury Nov. 10 or Nov. 12; court is not in session Nov. 11 because of Veteran's Day.

One man who might have been called as a witness had he not passed away was Gypsy leader Jimmy Marks.

Marks (right) called the newsroom after the shooting and urged reporters to talked to Turnispeed, who was his neighbor. Marks claimed to have predicted the dispute months earlier. He died later that month.

Read past coverage of the Turnipseed case here and here. 

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.