A man accused of shooting and killing his uncle at a birthday party in Meridian Saturday night appeared before a judge Monday in municipal court.
Christopher Denson, 41, is charged with murder. His bond was set at $1 million.
Police said Denson left the party at an event hall in the 5100 block of Highway 493, went to his vehicle, walked back inside with an AK-47 rifle and fired five or six shots. The shots struck Almond Turner in the head and chest, killing him, according to an affidavit.
Police said Turner, 69, was Denson's uncle.
Police arrested Denson at his apartment off Highway 39 Sunday afternoon, according to Capt. John Griffith.
At a municipal court appearance before Judge Robbie Jones on Monday, Denson replied to the judge's questions, but did not make any other statements.
Pat Jordan, a public defender who represented Denson during the appearance, requested the judge set a prelminary hearing for Monday, Dec. 2.
News of Turner’s death sent shock waves through the community of Covington, Gerogia, where he was a retired assistant police chief and member of the school board.
In a Facebook post, The Covington Police Department described Turner as “One of the greatest men who ever wore this uniform.”
“We are stunned, devastated, and heartbroken,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of the Newton County (Georgia) School System, in a statement on the district’s website.
“Mr. Turner was a life-long supporter of our community and its school system. He always wanted and fought for what was best for our students and employees…He was truly one of a kind.”
According to the school district, Turner was a graduate of Troy University and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He was first elected to the board of education in 1996.
He is survived by his wife, three children and several grandchildren.
Bill Graham contributed reporting.