(WORTHINGTON) - A 22-year-old Worthington man called the Greene County Sheriff's Department early Sunday, Feb. 24, and reported that two men had a gun and were threatening to kill him.
Anna Rochelle of the Greene County Daily World reports that officers responded from every direction but after they sorted things out, the man who called in was the one who ended up in jail.
Johnny James Turpin, Jr., was transported to the Greene County Jail by Deputy Dustin Cain, interviewed then booked in.
A criminal case was filed against Turpin on Tuesday. On Friday morning, he appeared in Greene Circuit Court for an initial hearing and was charged with strangulation, a class D felony, and domestic battery, a class A misdemeanor.
Worthington Town Marshal Don Richardson gave an account of the incident in a probable cause affidavit. After Turpin made the emergency call, officers were dispatched, located the accused men, and checked their vehicle for firearms but found none. They told a different story than Turpin.
According to the affidavit, Turpin, his wife, and others had been to the Oodle Inn in Switz City earlier in the evening and had consumed alcoholic beverages. After they got back to a residence on S. Lessie St. around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Turpin allegedly hit a female in the face for no apparent reason - there were witnesses to this altercation.
Turpin and the woman were separated and she went to sleep in another area of the home, but Turpin managed to get in where she was, and the others in the house said they heard her screaming.
When they were interviewed by Marshal Richardson, they said they found her lying on the floor with Turpin standing over her. One man then asked Turpin to leave the residence but that caused another verbal altercation and Turpin was shoved out the door.
According to the affidavit, the man told Richardson that once Turpin got to the road, he pulled out a knife and challenged the man to a fight. Eventually, Turpin just left the area, walking toward his father's home.
Two men said they went to see if Turpin made it there, because he'd been drinking, but Turpin called the sheriff's department.
When Turpin was interviewed, he denied touching the victim at all and didn't know how she got marks on her neck. He also allegedly told the deputy that the two men had been chasing him around town in a truck and had pointed a shotgun out the window at him, then chased him to his father's house, then parked in the driveway until officers arrived.
But Richardson wrote, "Again, once officers arrived, no firearms of any kind were found, disputing Mr. Turpin's story."
When Richardson interviewed the victim and several witnesses at the police department, the victim said Turpin had choked her, putting enough pressure on her neck that it was impeding her breathing. Richardson said he could see visible red marks and bruising on her neck.
When Turpin was first booked in, he was detained on a preliminary charge of domestic battery so his bond was set at $1000 surety with ten percent cash allowed. He posted $100 cash and was released later the same day.
When the Greene County Prosecutor's Office filed the case, the felony count of strangulation was added to the charge of domestic battery.
During his hearing, a public defender was appointed to represent Turpin and he was served with an order to have no contact with the victim in the case.
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