The body of slain Newton County school board member and former assistant police chief Almond Turner will be escorted home to Covington on Friday afternoon.
A police escort will guide Turner’s casket from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and through the Covington Square between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Those who wish to pay their respects are asked to line the processional route.
Turner, who retired from the Covington Police Department in 2016 after 45 years on the force, was shot and killed Saturday during a family gathering in Meridian, Mississippi. He was 69.
His nephew, 41-year-old Christopher Denson, was arrested on a murder charge in connection with his death.
Few details have been released on what preempted the gunfire. Witnesses at the family gathering told police Denson left the party, went to his vehicle and walked back inside armed with an AK-47 rifle, the the Meridian Star reported.
He allegedly fired five or six shots, killing his uncle, according to investigators. Another family member eventually wrestled the gun away.
Denson is scheduled to appear before a Mississippi judge for a preliminary hearing Monday, the Star reported. His bond was set at $1 million.
Turner will be honored at a candlelight vigil Friday night on the Covington square. The event will begin at 7 p.m.
Covington police called him “one of the greatest men who ever wore this uniform.” In a statement, the department said it was shocked and devastated to learn of his death.
Newton County Schools Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey said she was also stunned at the news. Turner was first elected to the Newton County school board in 1996 and was known as an advocate for students and employees.
During his six terms, Turner led efforts to install cameras in all school buses and classrooms and worked to ensure school policies were fair, according to the school district. He had a passion for music and was well-known for his performances with the Newton County Community Band.
Fuhrey said Turner was her friend and mentor, and she looked forward to his continued service to Newton County.
“I will never forget his advice, his kind words of encouragement, and most of all his friendship,” she said in a statement. “There will never be another Almond Turner. He was truly one of a kind.”
His funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers, where Turner served as a deacon and oversaw the church security team. A visitation will precede the service.
Before the funeral, the Newton County Board of Education will hold a special meeting to adopt a resolution honoring Turner. The board plans to drape black cloth over Turner’s usual seat.
The meeting is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Monday at the school board’s administrative offices on Newton Drive in Covington.
— Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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