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Man held without bond says he'll get lawyer once released from custody

by Lynn LaRowe | September 28, 2021 at 4:26 a.m. | Updated September 28, 2021 at 2:46 p.m.

TEXARKANA, Texas - A man accused of murdering his girlfriend last month in her Texas-side home appeared without a lawyer Monday morning at a court hearing in Bowie County.

Travis Alton Turner, 27, is facing a murder charge in Bowie County in the Aug. 12 death of 29-year-old Jennifer Garrett. Turner stood alone before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell for a status hearing.

When asked if he is in the process of hiring a lawyer to represent him, Turner responded that he would hire legal counsel once he is released from custody.

The response led First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp to remind the court that Turner is currently being held in the Bowie County jail without bond.

A little more than two weeks before Garrett's death, Turner was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence assault involving his mother, according to court records.

An information filed in that case alleges Turner caused injury to her by "striking her and physically picking her up and throwing her, causing her to fall and injure herself."

After Turner's arrest for murder, County Court at Law Judge Craig Henry granted a motion Crisp filed seeking revocation of Turner's bond in the misdemeanor case. Turner told the court he expected his misdemeanor case to be "dropped," that he would somehow post bond on the $3 million bail set in his murder case and hire a lawyer once he's no longer locked up.

Tidwell scheduled Turner to return to court next week. If Turner continues to appear without a lawyer, Tidwell may appoint one to Turner's case.

While not discussed in court Monday, Turner's bond surrender in Bowie County is not the only obstacle to his release. Turner is facing charges of battery and terroristic acts in Miller County, Arkansas. Turner allegedly shot at a house, injuring one, Feb. 26, in Texarkana, Arkansas, according to court records. Turner was released from the Miller County jail March 4 after posting a $50,000 bond.

Following his arrest for murder in Bowie County, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Cotten filed a motion to revoke Turner's bond in the Arkansas case which was granted by a Miller County circuit judge earlier this month. Additionally, Turner missed a court date in his Arkansas case which led Circuit Judge Wren Autrey to issue a warrant for failure to appear.

Turner faces up to a year in the Bowie County jail if convicted of the misdemeanor family violence assault. If found guilty of battery in Miller County, Turner faces up to six years in prison. If convicted of terroristic acts, Turner faces five to 20 years on each of two counts.

If found guilty of murder in Garrett's death, Turner faces five to 99 years or life in a Texas prison.

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