Turner appeal left unsettled

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Last spring, Perry County Commissioner Albert Turner Jr. ended up in court on charges of physically harassing Vinnie Royster on April 22, 2003.

However, the tables turned yesterday when Turner became the prosecutor in a circuit court appeal.

After Judge Lynn Bright ordered Turner to pay a fine of $400, court costs and restitution in the first case, the commissioner planned to take the case to circuit court immediately.

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“They have said I was the aggressor, but she was the aggressor,” Turner said in a previous interview. “We are not overly concerned with that. We will go to circuit court and have a jury to come before.”

According to Royster, her daughter Polly Al Hedaithi, commissioner Brett Harrison and Tim Barbe, another witness, Turner pushed, beat and choked Royster after walking in on her playing tapes of his Sunday morning radio show to commissioners in the courthouse.

Royster claimed Turner’s show gave the area a bad reputation and wanted the commissioners to do something about it.

But, commissioners Johnny Flowers, Ron Miller and Tim Sanderson said the exact opposite. According to their testimonies in the 2005 trial, Royster was the aggressor.

However, the prosecution’s witnesses and testimony proved more true to Bright and Turner was ordered to pay, since Royster claimed she had to be taken to Vaughn Hospital in Selma where she was treated for swelling in her leg, soreness in her throat, chest injuries, heart palpitations and scratches and bruises on her neck and back, before being released.

Although the case was expected to be heard once again, this time by Judge Tommy Jones, during Tuner’s appeal Monday, the parties involved left the courthouse without a verdict.

According to, district attorney Michael Jackson, Royster expressed concern with Jones handling the case.

“Judge Tommy Jones is considering whether or not he should recuse himself from the case,” Jackson said, “but the case will be continued eventually. The scheduling just depends on which judge will try the case because they will have to get together with the parties and discuss it.”

The next date for Tuner’s appeal has yet to be set.