Police make arrest in Columbus' 14th homicide

Columbus Police said late Friday they made an arrest in the July 31 homicide of Curtis Taron Turner, who at the time had been released from state prison less than a month.

David Lee Morris turned himself into authorities Friday afternoon, Lt. John McMichael said via email. Police identified Morris as a suspect Thursday evening.

Morris, 24, is being charged with murder. Further details weren’t available.

Columbus has had 14 homicides this year. Click here to read about them.

Turner died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head at about 6 a.m. July 31 at The Medical Center, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.

Police Sgt. Lance Deaton said in July the investigation had revealed the shooting occurred on Tennessee Drive near Monticello before police were called to a fatal traffic accident at Monticello and Claradon Avenue. The vehicle, driven by Turner, ran into the back of a residence that is located on North Oakley Drive.

“When they got there, they felt like it was something more to it,” Deaton said last month. “The victim appeared to have a gunshot wound. He indeed had been shot and it became a murder, not a fatality.”

A woman passenger who was injured in the accident also was treated.

Betty Turner, the victim’s mother, said in July her son was released from a Georgia prison less than a month ago. She last saw him at his father’s home in Forrest Park about 11 p.m. July 30.

“He wasn’t alive 30 days after he was released,” the mother said. “He didn’t have a weapon, and I have a feeling that he had got some drugs and tried to sell them. I don’t know why the guy was trying to rob him or what they were doing.”

Turner said her son started using drugs when he was 14, and he was treated for mental health while in prison.

“They should have put him somewhere besides out here on these streets,” she said. “They released him out here.”

The mother said she doesn’t believe her son was using drugs but may have been trying to sell them.

“I told him not to get back out in those streets trying to sell no drugs,” she said.

To get his life back on track, the mother said her son was trying to get papers filed for disability.

“You don’t take a patient from mental health out of jail and released them in the public,” the mother said. “You can’t do that. They need to be up under close supervision at all times. I think they just released him to get killed. I really do.”

Staff writer Ben Wright contributed to this report.

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