Killer of Unarmed Immigrant Gets a Unique Sentence

He’ll spend victim’s next 10 birthdays behind bars

Adil Dghoughi’s mother and brother at a press conference in 2021 (Photo by John Anderson)

Terry Turner has received his sentence for killing unarmed Moroccan immigrant Adil Dghoughi outside San Marcos in 2021. It’s an interesting one.

Caldwell County Judge Chris Schneider ruled on Monday that Turner will spend the next 140 days in jail. He will also spend two nights in jail in each of the 10 years of his probation, one on the anniversary of Dghoughi’s death, Oct. 11, and one on the night before Dghoughi’s birthday, Dec. 28.

In addition, Turner will pay a $10,000 fine, wear an ankle monitor for a year, be required to complete 400 hours of community service, and be forbidden to leave the Central Texas area for the next decade.

Turner’s sentence comes six weeks after a Caldwell County jury decided he was guilty of manslaughter – but not murder – for shooting Dghoughi in the brain after the Austin resident parked in Turner’s driveway for several minutes in the early morning hours of Oct. 11, 2021. During trial, Turner testified that he awoke to use the restroom in the middle of the night, saw a car in his driveway, grabbed a gun, and rushed out to confront the driver, thinking he was being robbed. As he did, the lights of the car came on and it accelerated rapidly in reverse. Turner ran to the driver’s side window and fired through it, killing Dghoughi. Dghoughi’s family and supporters have pointed out – and in charging Turner with murder Caldwell County officials agreed – that by pursuing an unarmed person in retreat Turner could not claim self-defense.

The jury could have given Turner 20 years in prison on the manslaughter charge but instead chose probation, leaving it to Judge Schneider to decide how the sentence would be carried out. He gave Turner the longest possible term of probation. According to reporting from the Statesman, the case nearly resulted in a mistrial, with four jurors urging the maximum sentence and three insisting on probation. The latter group refused to back down and the remaining five jurors eventually joined them. The four who favored a maximum sentence caved when it looked like the case would have to be tried all over again.

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