All News & Blogs
Prosecutor Megan Frederick shows Bobby Turner records clearing his name as attorney John Bennett looks on.
DONNIE JOHNSTON/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
By then, the actual property-damage estimate had been reduced from $1,000 to $300. Turner steadfastly refused to pay for damages he did not cause.
Eventually the case was nolle prossed (still on the record but inactive), but not before the stress of the ordeal helped bring on two strokes that caused Turner, who just turned 68, to lose his business.
"I had a good life," Turner said Wednesday. "I wasn't prepared for this."
Now suffering from kidney failure, the man who worked in a physical profession four years ago now appears pale and frail.
His wife, Ruby, contacted The Free Lance-Star Tuesday asking for help.
"Bobby's health is failing and he says that the one thing he wants before he dies is to have his name cleared," Ruby Turner said.
The wife's plea was sent to Frederick and the recently elected commonwealth's attorney immediately began investigating. Within 24 hours, she and her staff had found Turner's records, prepared the proper documents and gotten Circuit Judge Susan Whitlock to sign them.
"This was a team effort," Frederick told Turner. "A lot of hands helped make this happen. It wasn't just me."
In particular, she applauded the efforts of Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dale Durrer, Circuit Court Clerk Janice Corbin and Whitlock.
Frederick also apologized to Turner on behalf of Culpeper County law enforcement for what she termed "shoddy" investigative efforts.
"No citizen should be treated that way," she said. "I'm not afraid to apologize when the system is wrong."
And Frederick added, "If you're an honest citizen, you shouldn't have a record."
Teary-eyed, Turner again thanked Frederick for a Christmas present he didn't expect.