Jury deliberating in Bowie County child sex abuse case

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A jury of nine women and three men are expected to continue deliberations Thursday morning in the case of a Hooks, Texas, man accused of repeatedly sexually abusing two girls.

David Anthony Turney, 34, is on trial for the alleged abuse of a girl, now 12, from 2015 to May 2017. Charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of that girl’s older sister, now 14, are pending.

The younger girl testified Tuesday that Turney gave her candy for playing “special kid” in the bathroom of a home where Turney lived with the girls and their mother in Hooks, Texas. Wednesday the younger girl’s older sister testified under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter that she was given Pokemon cards by Turney for playing “special kid.” The alleged victims were born in 2004 and 2006.

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The mother of the girls testified Tuesday that she became concerned that something might have happened to her daughters when she found a sex toy on a shelf in the bathroom where it shouldn’t have been. The mother testified that her two oldest daughters told her Turney had been engaging in sexual acts with them.

Under direct examination by Texarkana attorney Bart Craytor, Turney denied inappropriate sexual contact with either girl. Turney attempted to blame the abuse on someone else.

Under cross examination by Carter, Turney testified that both girls and their mother were lying. The defense called several witnesses to testify as to Turney’s character and his good relationships with children.

The jury deliberated for more than an hour Wednesday before being placed in an evening recess by 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. The jury was instructed to return to the Bowie County courthouse Thursday morning to continue deliberations.

If found guilty of the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 involving the alleged victim born in 2006, Turney faces 25 to 99 years or life in prison. There is no parole from any sentence ordered for the offense. A date for trial on the allegations involving the girl born in 2004 has not been set.

If the jury finds Turney guilty, the jury will hear testimony concerning what punishment Turney should receive. A verdict is expected Thursday.

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