Elderly Korean War veteran takes stand in trial of man accused in his beating

March 26, 2013 3:34:45 PM PDT
A Korean War veteran beaten during a robbery at his home came face-to-face again with his suspected attacker in court.

An emotional victim was the last witness on the stand in the trial of Charles Jacquard Turner, who is facing aggravated robbery charges in connection with the attack. It happened nearly two years ago, in May of 2011, and now the victim got the chance to tell his story.

Thomas Mixon, 81, took the stand Tuesday afternoon. He was the last witness in two days of testimony.

Turner watched intently, as he had throughout the trial, although he showed little emotion. Mixon, on the other hand, showed plenty of emotion during testimony.

Turner, 23, is accused of beating Mixon with a rifle so hard that the rifle butt broke off and was found on the floor by investigators. Mixon didn't remember the actual attack.

Prosecutor: You entered the door. Do you remember anything after that?
Mixon: Not for several weeks.

But Mixon did remember waking up in the hospital days later. He'd been badly injured; all of his teeth were knocked out and he wears an eye patch now.

Prosecutor: What happened to your eye?
Mixon: I lost it. I lost everything.

Questioning lasted only about 20 minutes, but it was tough for Mixon and his family.

"You just don't want to see him go through something like that," a family member told Eyewitness News after the testimony.

Turner is accused of stealing money, guns, jewelry and Mixon's Chevrolet extended cab truck.

Earlier, an informant testified he'd seen Turner drive up in Mixon's truck and heard Turner talk about beating up "some old man."

Both the prosecution and the defense rested after Mixon's testimony. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning.

Testimony in court earlier Tuesday

First on the stand Tuesday was Celia Ochoa, a neighbor of the victim, who testified about an attempted break-in at her apartment on the same day of the crime. She described someone resembling the defendant trying to kick in her door.

Prosecutors say on May 16, 2011, Turner entered Tom Mixon's home through an unlocked patio door and assaulted the Mixon, who was 79 at the time.

Mixon was beaten so severely that he lost an eye and several teeth. Turner allegedly struck him with a firearm, and stole several weapons from the man's home before fleeing in Mixon's truck. If convicted, Turner faces a possible sentence of five years to life in prison.

This is a first-degree felony, and prosecutors tell us Turner is not eligible for probation because of the age of the victim. Just as with very young children, there are enhancements to the range of punishments in crimes against seniors.

Mixon is a Korean War veteran and marine who embraced the city of South Houston to such a degree that neighbors affectionately called him "the mayor."

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