2014 Shooting of Convicted Drug Dealer Darrell Philpott
The purpose of this page is to show why Kenny Wright, the District Attorney of Oklahoma's 13th Judicial District (Ottawa and Delaware Counties) must immediately drop all charges against Ed "Hoss" Turlington jr. in the 2014 shooting of convicted drug dealer Darrell Philpott. The Delaware County Undersheriff took over the investigation from the Detectives at the scene to protect Philpott, a well-known, long term police informant. The Undersheriff withheld exculpatory evidence from the District Attorney that would have likely prevented him from charging Turlington. The sworn statements they did turn into the DA contained multiple instances of police perjury. Most likely, the law enforcement officers involved thought Ed was merely a Philpott associate, and they did not know he was actually a former law enforcement officer, certified Oklahoma Private Investigator and recently retired from the military. The bottom line is the exculpatory evidence (the Wound Nurse’s Determination and the high resolution, color photographs of the bullet wounds) Undersheriff withheld from the Probable Cause Affidavit corroborated Ed’s version of events (he shot the convicted drug dealer from the front, as the drug dealer attacked him while armed with a glass bottle) and the truth, and contradict Philpott’s version of events (that Philpott set the glass bottle down after checking to see if it had filled with rainwater he could use to extinguish the fire he set on the land he had trespassed), walked away and Ed shot him in the back of his leg). District Attorney Kenny Wright needs to dismiss charges immediately in the interest of justice.
Ed found three strangers, including convicted drug dealer Darrell Philpott cooking Meth on land his brother recently contracted for and already acquired the right to possess. Relying on his law enforcement training and experience, Ed realized the men had taken the license plates off their truck, which is a significant indicator they were going out into the community with bad intentions. Ed executed a citizen's arrest in accordance with Oklahoma statutes. Rather than submit to the lawful arrest or at least apologizing and promising not to return, Philpott, by his own admission, became combative and aggressive, picking up a glass bottle while Turlington held him at gunpoint. With Philpott coming at Ed from the front, and the other two trespassers maneuvering behind Ed, Ed shouted for Philpott to stop, but Philpott continued to rush toward Ed with the bottle in his hand. Finally, in fear for his life, Ed fired a single shot in self-defense. Ed is qualified "expert marksman" by the Military Police Corps. He fired the one shot down toward the ground, away from Philpott’s vital organs. The bullet hit Philpott near the knee at close range.
The Undersheriff conducted a cursory, flawed investigation
containing numerous legal and procedural improprieties including
withholding of exculpatory evidence and witness tampering in which
the admittedly drunk, convicted drug dealer stated he was shot from
the rear as he was walking away from Turlington. The incomplete and
flawed Probable Cause Affidavit based on the above investigation
left out crucial evidence that would have exonerated Turlington such
as the Wound Nurse's determination that the bullet entered from the
front (the smaller hole), and exited toward the rear (the larger
hole). It is important to know that the only person in the Emergency
Room with the formal training to make this determination was the
wound Nurse, not the Undersheriff, who restated Philpott's position
that the bullet entered from the rear. The Undersheriff also opted
to only include two photographs in the PC Affidavit, and both were
grainy, black and white pictures that did not clearly show the
wounds. This is important because he chose NOT to use the
color photographs which clearly show Philpott was shot in the
front of his leg (smaller hole) as he was advancing, which
corroborates Ed's testimony, the wound nurse's determination and the
truth. The point is not only that Philpott was shot while advancing
toward Ed, but more importantly, that Philpott should have been
caught in another lie to law enforcement if only the investigator
cared to examine the facts.
The direct descendent of 6 Indian Territory pioneers who settled what became Oklahoma's Delaware and Ottawa Counties, Turlington left in the late 80s to join the military, always intending to return one day to raise a family. Twenty-five years later Turlington returned with his pregnant wife Julie (nee Hoss), their sons, 4-year-old Edwin "Hardee" III and 2-year-old Hoss Britton (they have since had two more children, Audrey Maxine and John "Duke" Kelly).
The Turlington family purchased a rural home and acreage in east
Delaware County, Oklahoma 4 miles from where Oklahoma meets Arkansas
and Missouri. Ed started repairing the house to make it livable.
Regrettably, while the farmhouse sat vacant in foreclosure over the
past several years, local thieves and drug addicts had gutted the
home of everything that could be sold, including electrical outlets,
copper wire, the hot water tank, and even the toilet. Turlington and
his 4-year-old son camped at their new homesite, showering outside
with a garden hose, while pregnant Julie stayed with Ed’s mother in
Miami. Julie teaches high school biology in Miami.
"Bring It, Motherf***er!"
On April 14, 2014, Ed was repairing electrical outlets and replacing copper wire that thieves had ripped out of the walls. He had to go into town and on his return found several local thugs standing around a fire directly under a "No Trespassing" sign that was signed by the man who sold Ed's family all the land he owned in the holler. One of the men was a known vagrant drug dealer (Darrell Philpott) who had an outstanding 2009 Missouri Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear on a similar crime. The men had an assortment of metal containers on an elevated wood pallet and appeared to be tending a shake and bake meth lab. They were set back far enough from the road they could not see down it in either direction. What appeared to be a lookout sat in a car parked in the road and yelled to them as Ed approached in his truck. The strangers looked up at Ed, and walked directly to their truck which had no license plates, abandoning the burning fire.
In December 2015, 13th Judicial District Prosecutor Nic Lelecas allowed Philpott to testify in the Delaware County Courthouse against Ed with the Missouri bench warrant for Philpott’s arrest still active. Philpott walked into the courthouse, perjured himself throughout his testimony, including about his criminal history, and left .
As a former military policeman, and a recently Oklahoma-certified Private Investigator, Ed immediately recognized that the trespassers were engaged in criminal activity. He noticed that they had taken the license plate off the truck, so they couldn’t be identified if anyone spotted them trespassing, cooking meth, or robbing local houses. Ed lawfully executed a citizen’s arrest in accordance with Title 22 section 186-190 of the Oklahoma Statutes for trespassing, starting the fire, and suspicion of drug manufacturing.
Rather than submitting to the lawful arrest, or at least apologizing and promising to not return, Philpott admittedly became combative and aggressive and picked up a glass bottle. Philpott challenged Ed to fight, shouting, “bring, it, motherfu*ker!” With Philpott coming at Ed from the front, and the other two trespassers maneuvering behind Ed, Ed shouted for Philpott to stop, but Philpott continued to rush toward Ed with the bottle in his hand. Finally, in fear for his life, Ed fired a single shot in self-defense. Ed is an expert marksman and former law enforcement officer. He fired the one shot down toward the ground, away from Philpott’s vital organs. The bullet hit Philpott near the knee at close range. Rather than immediately seeking medical treatment for his bullet wound, Philpott had his accomplices take him to a friend's house so he could change clothes first (Philpott's clothes reeked of Methamphetamine residue). Afterward, Barrett drove to the Gravette Arkansas Emergency Room where the Delaware County Undersheriff interviewed him. Ed drove towards town to get a mobile phone reception, called an ambulance for Philpott and called The Sheriff's Office told them about the shooting and that he was coming in to make a sworn statement.
POLICE INFORMANTS / PROTECTED INDIVIDUALS
Rural law enforcement agencies, which often don’t have the funding necessary to properly investigate crimes, have increasingly relied on the testimony of informants over the last several decades.
So much so that an informal system has developed of law enforcement agencies taking it easy, or even protecting informants and in return, informants telling the law enforcement agencies what they need to secure convictions. Bestselling author and attorney John Grisham wrote a nonfiction book titled “An Innocent Man” about rural Oklahoma cops doing exactly this, and it resulted in one man on Death Row before DNA evidence cleared him.
In my case, the prosecutor is basing his position on this convicted drug dealer’s testimony, and on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Sheriff's pictures of the wounds that show the exact opposite of what the prosecutor states they show. More importantly, it’s obvious that the drug dealer/snitch that I shot was being protected by law enforcement throughout the investigation.
THE INFORMATION OPERATION
After an arrest, there are two groups of people who must decide the guilt or lack of guilt of the arrested party; the (1) District Attorney and the prosecutor(s) involved in the case and the (2) Judge or Jury. In the military, the integrated employment of a unit's core capabilities in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities in order to influence, corrupt or usurp another party's decision making is called "Information Operations". Three core capabilities used in the Delaware County Sheriff's Information Operation against Ed are Information Security, Deception and Psychological Operations.
Information Security is protecting, or hiding information that makes the wrong person look bad or the wrong person look good. The Sheriff and Undersheriff employed Information Security against Ed when they withheld exculpatory information from the District Attorney in the Probable Cause Affidavit and to the Newspaper reporters. They also employed information security in favor of their Informant throughout the investigation and to the Newspaper reporters.
Deception includes stating or inferring things that are untrue about
their Informant to make him look better (or less criminal) and
stating or inferring things about Turlington to make him look like
the aggressor, like he didn't understand what was going on, etc. The
Delaware County Sheriff and Undersheriff employed Deception in Ed's
case to include Tampering with Witness Testimony (multiple times and
with multiple witness testimonies) in the "investigation", making
patently false statements about Ed and misleading statements
concerning the events surrounding the shooting to Newspaper
reporters, multiple instances of police perjury in the Probable
Cause Affidavit they used to justify Ed’s arrest to the District
Psychological Operations are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions and objective reasoning and ultimately the behavior (the DA's decision to file charges, a jury's guilty verdict, etc.) of individuals. The Sheriff and Undersheriff employed Psychological Operations in news releases during the days following Ed's arrest, the photograph of a bandaged Philpott laying on a hospital bed, …
"INVESTIGATION", “INTERVIEW” and PROBABLE CAUSE AFFIDAVIT
Due to the staggering amount of procedural and legal violations committed by the Undersheriff in his "investigation", “interview” and the Probable Cause Affidavit a complete or even close-to-complete account is impossible on this single webpage. Following is a partial list of violations of basic police procedure and ...
Evidence tampering includes altering or concealing evidence with the intent to interfere with an investigation by a law enforcer. In Oklahoma it is a criminal offense (Title 21-546 Suppressing evidence).
In Oklahoma, arrests can be made by probable cause or by warrant. If
by probable cause, the arresting agency delivers a report justifying
the arrest to the District Attorney. This report is called a
Probable Cause Affidavit, or PC Affidavit. The DA makes the decision
which, if any, charges the State files against the arrested person.
If the arresting agency withholds from the DA evidence that
exonerates the arrested person, it is impossible for the DA to make
a fully informed decision on what charges to file, if any.
As stated above, the Wound Nurse was the only person medically qualified at the Emergency Room to make a statement on the directional path the bullet took through Philpott’s leg. After cleaning, examining and measuring the wounds, he determined the bullet entered the small hole in the front of Philpott’s leg and exit through the larger hole towards the rear of Philpott’s leg, which is consistent with my version of events, the photographs the Undersheriff took (but did not include in the PC Affidavit) and the truth. Failing to include this exculpatory evidence in the PC Affidavit is one example of the Undersheriff tampering with evidence. Another is his choosing to include grainy, black and white photographs (with only one even showing a bullet wound at all) in the PC Affidavit rather than the high resolution, color photographs he took that clearly showed what the Wound Nurse determined- that the bullet had entered through the front of the drug dealer’s leg and out the larger hole toward the rear of his leg.
Note – Hundreds of photographs (or more) may be taken in a typical felony investigation. The DA doesn’t have the time to go through them all, so it is especially important the arresting agency include the most relevant photographs in their Probable Cause Affidavit. The Sheriff and Undersheriff understand this. For a complete archive of the photographs taken during the investigation, in order and labeled as they were provided to me during Discovery by the District Attorney, click here.
Still another instance of the Undersheriff hiding evidence is seen in the photographs he took of the trespassing scene. The night of the investigation, the DCSO took ONE HUNDRED and TWELVE photographs during the night of the investigation yet not one of them showed the “No Trespassing” sign that is between the pallet and the only road (East County Road 370) that accesses the area they were trespassing. In other words, the No Trespassing sign is impossible to miss. The investigator who took the photos intentionally left out the no-trespassing sign, which would’ve supported my version of events and showed the drug addicts were trespassing. During the interview with Detective Miller, I told him about the No Trespassing sign. The following day, he went out to the trespassing scene on his own time and in his personal pickup truck and took pictures of the No Trespassing sign and had them included in the investigation. See the sign next to the pallet and privately-owned pickup truck photos labeled “FOLLOW_UP PHOTOGRAPHS NEXT DAY”.
Another form of evidence is witnesses testimony. Coaching or leading
the witness or changing his testimony during a legal proceeding
(such as a criminal investigation) or in a legal document (such as a
PC Affidavit) is….
Rather than have a detective conduct the interview with his informant, convicted drug dealer Darrell Philpott, Delaware County Sheriff Harlan Moore, a newcomer to the 13th judicial district, sent his Undersheriff to do the job. One example of the interviewer leading the interviewee is when the Undersheriff interrupts the interviewee (9.44) to finish the interviewees statement. Another is when the detective actually coaches Philpott to change his testimony that he is unemployed to being employed. After asking Philpott his occupation, then explaining to Philpott the meaning of "occupation", the interviewer asks Philpott what is his job. Philpott answers none, but rather than documenting Philpott's unemployment, the interviewer suggests to Philpott he is a laborer to which Philpott answers "uh, yeah" (28:00, 4:39 and 4:42).
Because I am an incomparably better cop than the Delaware County Sheriff or Undersheriff, because I have the formal training and experience to understand what they tried to do to me, because of the actions of honest deputies at the scene of the crime, because I have the material resources to defend my actions to not only a jury, but the citizens of the 13th Judicial District at large, and most of all because my God watched out for me the night I shot that lowlife criminal and still does, I not only am a free man at the time of this writing, but will remain one after any jury trial the District Attorney may have the bad judgement to pursue.
fails to follow up on any self-contradictory, clearly false, incriminating or just plain insensible statements or facts.
The Undersheriff failed to ask Philpott why he chose to go to
someone's house and change clothes prior to going to the emergency
room after being shot.
Philpott's interview consists of forty-one and a half minutes of near constant self-contradictory, clearly false, incriminating and insensible statements and the interviewer fails to address any of them. Examples are when Philpott clearly has no idea whose land he was burning (11:00) or when Philpott tells the interviewer he " ... (will) never give the same answer twice (30:25), or when Philpot tells the interviewer “it just finished raining” (2:14). There was no rain in Delaware County on 14 April, 2014 or the preceding two weeks, (something both Philpott and the Undersheriff knew) or Philpott's own admission that Philpott abandoned a burning fire on someone else's property with no one to tend it (12:00).
According to Philpott and his accomplice James Barrett, they decided to burn trash after cutting wood at the incident site ( Probable Cause Affidavit, page 2, first paragraph, last sentence and throughout Philpott's interview). However, there was no chainsaw, no firewood in the truck, no stumps, and no explanation for the Coleman fuel-based pallet-lab. At no point in the “investigation” did any deputy ask to see or note any evidence of cut wood (stumps, a pile of firewood, etc.) No deputy asked why Philpott and Barret chose to burn trash on someone else’s property rather than take it to the public dumpsters less than a quarter mile from where they burned it. (and half a mile from Jack Thomas / Bradley’s house). Five minutes into the interview, Philpott is asked the location of the whiskey he admitted to drinking earlier. He answers his customary "uh..." and the interviewer leads him by trying to finish his answer for him, "It’s with your clothes? Or Jack’s car?". Philpott answers, “It’s gone” and the interviewer clarifies, “It’s gone? You threw it away?”. Philpott tells the interviewer that he "... threw the bottle in the wood stove.” And that's it. The interviewer fails to ask Philpott if throwing glass bottles in his fire stove is normal behavior for Philpott, or ask Philpott why he threw a whiskey bottle in the wood stove or even whose wood stove did he allegedly throw the bottle into? Most surprisingly the interviewer fails to investigate whether or not there is a bottle in the alleged wood stove. Why did he even ask about the bottle?
One reason to throw a whiskey bottle in a woodstove that should have been obvious to the interviewer was for Philpott to hide evidence of his drunken state from law enforcement officials before going to the hospital. Once more the interview failed to follow up on an obvious problem with Philpott’s story.
The investigator further changed Philpott's testimony by changing
both the wording and the meaning of Philpott's answer in the
Probable Cause Affidavit; page 3, Line 5 by stating Philpott admitted to drinking a half
pint of whiskey earlier in the day, instead of that night
(4:45). This is a significant difference, as the body processes
alcohol at the approximate rate of an ounce per hour. By his own
admission, Philpott had been drinking
that night, yet the Undersheriff failed to establish how drunk
Philpott would have been at the time of the confrontation, much less
the time of the interview.
The investigator decided to
not have toxicology work
done that would have established Philpott’s estimated blood alcohol
content at the time of the confrontation.
This information would have been exculpatory for Ed
It doesn't take an experienced law enforcement officer to understand why the Undersheriff didn’t pursue any of Philpott's constant lies, self-contradictions and inconsistencies. It was because the Undersheriff wasn't investigating.
Meanwhile, Ed drove to Jay to meet with the Sheriff’s Deputies, as they agreed to over the phone. When Ed arrived in town, a Jay police officer (who is no longer employed at the Department) put a gun in Ed’s face and arrested Ed. Jay Police Chief Jim Shambaugh told the officer to put his firearm away, asked Ed for permission to move his truck out of the road and escorted him to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department, where Ed received a warm welcome from the Deputies. Detective Frank Miller conducted the interview with Ed, available here ( compare the level of Miller's professionalism and competence with the Undersheriff who the Sheriff specially assigned to interview Philpott rather than the lead detective at the crime scene). Miller asked for and received the Who, What, When, Where and Why of the evening's incident. Miller didn't giggle, or ask to hold Turlington's hand, or try to befriend him in any way. However, Miller did continue recording after his interview with Turlington. He recorded himself calling both the Undersheriff as well as Sheriff Harlan Moore and telling them Turlington arrested the men he found trespassing on his family farm. The Undersheriff left that out of the report he submitted for the Probable Cause Affidavit. He also left out of the affidavit the Doctor's determination that Turlington shot Philpott from the front. When the Undersheriff delivered Philpott’s medical records to Turlington's attorney, Winston Connor, the Doctor's statement stating Philpott was shot from the front was missing for some reason. The following day when it was light outside, Miller went to the scene of the crime in his own personal pickup and took pictures of the camp fuel / pallet meth lab Turlington told him about while Turlington sat in jail. Note that Detective Miller, at that time a law enforcement officer with over twenty years’ experience, didn’t arrest Turlington on his own volition. Sheriff Harlan Moore ordered Detective Miller to arrest Turlington and even then, Miller had to ask on what charge. Detective Miller is no longer employed at the Sheriff’s office.
Sherriff Moore’s presumption against lawful self-defense is disturbing, but it gets worse. Based on the records of the interview with Philpott, it is also evident that there was an effort to shape the outcome of the investigation by feeding Philpott optimal answers as well as changing Philpott's testimony.
Philpott, in his own words, contradicted himself multiple times, and couldn’t even tell a Deputy a real home address. Philpott also admitted to the investigating deputy and the Emergency Room medical staff that he smoked pot daily, drank a 12 pack of beer daily, and that he had already drunk a half a pint of whiskey the evening of the shooting. Despite this, no attempt was made to obtain a toxicology report. A toxicology report showing Philpot was high or inebriated would have invalidated the entire interview. The lone fact Philpott admitted to the Emergency Room staff that he smoked pot and got drunk daily would have been enough to cause a real investigator to order a toxicology report.
No effort was made to verify Ed’s testimony, or to obtain any information that would exonerate Ed, or to implicate the trespassers. The Sherriff’s affidavit sent to the DA left out important information, such as the fact the trespassers were under lawful arrest at the time of the shooting.
Based on the timing of Ed’s arrest, an Undersheriff being recorded feeding answers to a witness, and the failure to follow even basic police investigatory procedures, it is obvious that Sheriff Harlan Moore decided to arrest Ed prior the gathering the facts. Ed was arrested because he used a firearm, without any investigation as to whether it was lawful self-defense. The investigation did include while include cherry picked and even false information, such as Philpott's employment - which Philpott had denied three times before the Undersheriff put words in Philpott's mouth.
Ed "Hoss" Turlington is a disabled veteran retired from Oklahoma's
45th Infantry Division He is a family man and a local farmer. He
belongs to the American Legion in Jay, is a Life member of Disabled
American Veterans in Grove and the Masons in Grove, where he
currently serves as an officer. A conservationist, he has planted
thousands of paw paw, plum, blackberry and other native trees and
bushes since moving to his farm 4 years ago. He has always
contributed to his country and community.
When he found a parked pickup with no tags and a group of local thugs trespassing on his family farm (one of whom had an outstanding warrant for poaching), he responded no differently than any other working family man in the 13th Judicial District would have done. Although they bill themselves as pro-gun conservatives, the Sheriff and Prosecutor both sided with violent, vagrant drug addicts. What happened to Ed can happen to you. Anyone in the 13th Judicial District reading this has reason for concern for their own personal safety and their right to defend themselves and their loved ones. Worthless, jobless meth addicted thieves like the ones that invaded Ed's land, set fire to it and tried to attack him have ruined the rural areas of this country and bring nothing but pain and misery to individuals, families and communities.
As a descendant of 8 Cherokee Nation pioneers, Ed "Hoss" Turlington has hundreds of cousins in Oklahoma’s 13 Judicial District (Delaware and Ottawa Counties). Many were instrumental in its founding and sustaining. From his great great grandfather John Duke Kelly and his cousin Judge Sam Fullerton sr who pioneered Indian Territory in what is now Ottawa County to his cousins Earl, Clyde and Duke Kelly and his cousin Judge Sam Fullerton III who led the Agricultural, Commercial and Legal communities of Delaware county, to his grandfather who died in the Philippines fighting the Asian horde and his father, Ed sr, a 13th judicial district educator who was High School Principal at Grove and Colcord, and Superintendent of Schools at Afton and Oaks, and finally to Ed's brothers and himself, Ed's kin has always given to the communities of Delaware and Ottawa counties. Ed and his family ask you to keep them in your prayers, and to share this page with as many residents of Oklahoma’s 13th judicial district as possible.
The Undersheriff proceeded to conduct an extremely bizarre interview in which he can be heard giggling, cooing and fawning over Philpott throughout - at one point asking to hold Philpott’s hand and complimenting Philpott on his "working man's hands"(24:00). The only “work” Philpott has had in years is dealing drugs.