Ex-NFL Bengal killed by Calif. deputy in scuffle

(AP)   A California deputy shot and killed a former running back for the Cincinnati Bengals in front of a convenience store after he allegedly hit an officer with a bag holding two cans of beer.

David Lee “Deacon” Turner, 56, played with the Bengals from 1978 to 1980 and had long arrest history after his playing career was finished.

Deputies who were investigating reports of teenagers asking adults to buy alcohol and cigarettes approached Turner on Sunday as he left the convenience store with his 19-year-old son and a 16-year-old juvenile.

The deputies detained Turner while they investigated. The sheriff’s office said Turner initially complied but then decided to leave, and the scuffle occurred when deputies tried to stop the former NFL player. Deputy Aaron Nadal was hit on the back of the head with a bag holding two, 24-ounce cans of beer before Deputy Wesley Kraft drew his handgun and fired twice at Turner, authorities said.

Friends and family told the The Bakersfield Californian they have trouble believing authorities’ account of the story. Nephew Kevin Turner called his uncle “the backbone of our family.”

“He was a marvelous kid,” Bakersfield College coach Gerry Collins told the newspaper.

Turner excelled at shredding defenses at Shafter High School, Bakersfield College and San Diego State University before getting drafted by the Bengals in the second round in 1978.

Turner was used primarily as a kick returner in his three years in the league, amassing 1,149 return yards in 1979 for the last-place Bengals. He had 549 career rushing yards.

Court records show an arrest history stretching back to 1986. The most recent, on June 17, was for driving while his license was revoked because of a conviction for driving under the influence.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood said department investigators were getting tapes from video cameras at the store to see if the incident Sunday was recorded. He said he has purposely not researched Turner’s criminal background.

“I want to look at it with an open and objective mind,” Youngblood said. “Having a record is a tiny piece of the puzzle, but not a significant piece.”

He declined to comment about the investigation directly. The department issued a release saying Nadal was treated and released at a hospital. Officials have not described the nature of his injury.

Kraft is on administrative leave while sheriff’s detectives investigate the shooting.


A man who played running back for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1978 to 1980 was shot and killed by a Kern County Sheriff’s deputy in front of his 19-year-old son.

It happened early Sunday at the Fastrip store, 2200 Nile St., in northeast Bakersfield.

According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, a group of teenagers were outside of the Fastrip trying to get adults to buy alcohol for them. When deputies arrived, they approached 56-year-old David Lee Turner, who was leaving the store with his son.

Turner’s son was too shaken to speak with Eyewitness News on Sunday, but he told his sister what he witnessed.

“They asked my dad if he was the person buying alcohol for underage youth,” Jerrica Cor-Dova said.

According to Turner’s son, his father denied the claims, but deputies continued to question him. Turner then asked officers if he was being arrested. The deputies said no, and Turner grabbed his stuff and began to walk away.

“As he was walking away, the officers came up behind him and hit him in the back of the legs with a club, causing him to fall on his knees,” Cor-Dova said.

Turner’s son said the bag his father was carrying fell to the ground and the beer in the bag exploded. The next thing he heard was two shots being fired.

“My brother said he yelled my dad’s name, and my father was lying there still,” Cor-Dova relayed the story.

But according to the sheriff’s department, the shots were fired because one of the officers was hit over the head with the items in the bag. His son said that never happened.

“I know that there is a video recording, so we are relying heavily on the video recording from Fastrip,” Cor-Dova said.

Eyewitness News contacted Fastrip in an effort to obtain the surveillance video, but, due to the ongoing investigation, it cannot release the video.

The family is asking for answers.

“All we want is for justice to be served. We need some closure here. This is devastating,” Turner’s girlfriend Doralene Hicks said.

Deputy Welsey Kraft, the man who shot Turner, is currently on paid administrative leave as the investigation into the shooting continues.


9 Responses to Ex-NFL Bengal killed by Calif. deputy in scuffle

  • Cop kills a man and then lies about it. Why is this news? Isn’t that their job, to spread fear and violate peoples’ rights?

    Cops long ago “jumped the shark” and now they’re mostly operating on the dark side.

  • How long before the tens of millions of armed citizens, when seeing the police coming just start shooting and consider it self defense?

  • The problem with American cops is that they have been militarized. Their old motto: “To Protect and Serve” no longer applies, unless it is to protect and serve themselves. And of course that is exactly what they do, the same as a soldier would do — you try to cover your ass and not get shot. But, it is wrong for civilian police officers to look at the civilian populace as the enemy in a war zone. Cops are not fighting a war no matter how much they fantasize that they are. They are still supposed to enforce the law, but with the understanding that the people they encounter are their neighbors — the and workers and citizens of their own country. The people are NOT the enemy.

    Any of you cops listening?

  • The only people I have ever known to join the police are azzholes. In high school they are always the dumbest, self centered, ego maniacs who join solely to exercise authority over others. That is the modern American cop, way overpaid and out to threaten and harass anyone they perceive to not respect them. Cycle never ends they act like maniacs and the public learns to not respect them because they are nuts.

  • You can see the game unfolding here.
    Fastrip which has a the video detailing the abuse will suddenly claim that no video exists due to pressure from Internal Affiars (jargon speak for the affairs of a criminal mafiatocarcy. They will compromise intelligence, use media to sell race, child abuse just about nything they can think of as a way of shifting blame for an obvious abuse of power & trust..
    They are looking for you to forget..

  • Sounds just like Oregon cops. If you ever plan to drive a vehicle in Oregon, you should first read the facebook post for, “Gary Don Oliver, Kelso, Washington,” and don’t drive alone. (You may need to be a member of facebook, and click on the WALL button below the photo.)

  • Could be a stalking horse too. Whip up in frenzy on something then film appears, footy player looks more villain etc. etc. I am not saying its not par for the course, our police where I live are little more than a malignancy on a besieged humanity. Note I dont mean they are all bad but overall the peformance is pathetic and ultimately intolerable. Police should be loyal local community citizen and friend to all until force is only option In a healthy society they are unecessary.As we are some way off this Police should be suited to job, love people, see the best in them
    encourage them.Our leadership, generally around the world is so malicious on its people, and environments whilst all the wirelest pretending otherwise, that bad encouraged endemic.Lets hope and pray to thwart it.

  • cops are going to get a rude awakening on the morning after Martial Law gets formally declared. anyone with that patch on their arm, driving in a patrol vehicle, is likely to sustain withering fire from almost any neighborhood they decide to make their presence known in once that happens.


    too many John Williams and others in the country, murdered by trigger happy cops who are poorly trained or inadequately instructed to interface with the community in a way that doesn’t make them all future targets.

    I so pity policemen when TSHTF. they have a huge come uppance after all the obtuse and excessive violence they have wrought all these years and swept under the rug.

    I truly have no pity for them. They’ll get what they all have coming, and it won’t be a walk in any park. It’ll be a trip to the morgue for most of them.

    and they earned it, by not policing their own and demanding the out of control ones who are in their midst get punished and rounded out. instead, they get rewarded.

    community servants or street gangs wearing uniforms? you decide. you decide.

  • Shooting a fellow in the back twice who walked away during a routine questioning wouldn’t have been okay in 1911 in a small US town, why does it need to be okay now? Heck, it wouldn’t even be okay if he was guilty of buying alcohol for minors.

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