| Crime |

Wilmer-Hutchins Hoops Star's Killer Gets Seven Years Probation

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Johnathan Turner, a former Madison High School basketball player, pleaded guilty to beating his housemate Troy Causey to death Monday. He's been given seven years probation for killing Causey, who played hoops for Wilmer-Hutchins

Causey died after a fight over video games. The two players were living in the Southeast Oak Cliff house after being improperly recruited during their time at the Dallas County Youth Village, a juvenile justice facility operated by Dallas County, according to an ongoing lawsuit filed by Causey's estate against Dallas ISD and the county.

The killing led to an investigation of the illicit recruiting practices of Dallas ISD basketball. When it was over, 15 coaches and administrators had been fired

Turner apologized to Causey's family in court Monday, telling them that he "never meant for it to go down like that."

His apology was not accepted.

"I'm not gonna pray for you. I do wish this pain on you. I will never forgive you," Causey's mother, Tammy Simpson, said in a victim impact statement.

Roferrel Simpson, Causey's stepdad, repeatedly called Turner a liar and chewed him out for visiting Causey in the hospital.

"I thought y'all were family. It turns out y'all were just liars," Roferrel Simpson said.

Tammy Simpson said after the sentencing hearing that she was unhappy Dallas County prosecutors didn't take the case to trial. She voted for District Attorney Susan Hawk, she said, because Hawk said she wouldn't run from big cases. Simpson said Hawk's office treated the case like the previous district attorney, Craig Watkins, would have.

"Something is being hidden, they're hiding and protecting a certain entity," she said. "Those people will be exposed."

Turner, according to Tammy Simpson, is dangerous and should have been locked up.

"He's going to do it again. Murderers always repeat, and he's a murderer," she said.

Prosecutor Jason Hermus said a lack of witnesses and evidence lead the district attorney's office to drop Turner's murder charges to manslaughter and offer the deal. If Turner completes the seven years without incident,  no conviction will be entered on his record. 

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