Turner guilty: Nelson man sentenced to 28 years

A Nelson County man was sentenced to 28 years Wednesday for the murder of Dewey Wood, also of Nelson.

Thomas Junior Turner of Arrington received 25 years for second-degree murder and an additional three years for use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

A 12-person jury deliberated for two and a half hours before delivering the verdict to Nelson Circuit Court Judge J. Michael Gamble.

For several days before the shooting last May, the two men had been arguing over payment for a deck Wood built at Turner's house. According to the Nelson County Times, multiple witnesses testified that Turner had called them the week before the shooting to complain about Wood's refusal to accept payment for the work.

Turner was originally charged with first degree murder. Nelson County Commonwhelth's Attorney Phil Payne argued that Turner invited Wood, a popular member of the James River Batteau Festival Community, to his house with the intention of shooting him.

Turner's attorney, Joseph Sanzone, argued that Turner was acting in self defense because he believed Wood intended to harm him.

"I just reached up to his stomach and ... shot him," the Nelson County Times quoted Turner's testimony. "I just wanted him to turn me lose."

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1 comment

Personally I think Turner can appeal. It seems to be a crime of passion, not pre-meditated as the commonwealth attorney alleges. However, I'm not understanding why Turner would call the Nelson County Times to complain about Wood's refusal to accept payment for the work??? Also, why did Wood refuse payment? Why not take the money and put a mechanics lien on the house for the rest? It just seems like a stiff sentence...who knows. Twenty-eight years seems like a life sentence for a crime of passion. Not a lawyer so am just wondering.