Man pleads to role in deadly shooting, then released from jail

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Midway man was released from jail after pleading guilty to driving an accused killer to the scene of a deadly shooting and then driving him to get rid of the murder weapon, according to a report in the State Journal.

38-year old Billy Jo Turner had been in jail since July 3, 2018, the day 39-year old Margaret “Meg” Smith was shot to death on Meadow Glen Drive in Frankfort, according to the newspaper report.

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Turner’s attorney argued, since Turner had already served 13-months of the five year sentence he faces as part of his deal of pleading to lesser charges, he was eligible for parole.  The judge agreed and released Turner to his family.  Turner will have to wear an ankle monitor, will have a full-time construction job and must testify truthfully against the accused killer, according to the report.

Turner is scheduled to be sentenced October 18, 2019, according to the State Journal.

The accused gunman is 39-year old Derek Garten.  Following Smith’s murder, Garten eluded police for several days during an intense manhunt.



While he was at-large, Garten posted comments to his social media account, including what appeared to be a confession to the crime, according to the report.

“I shot meg and would do it again,” the message on Garten’s social media account read.  “She was evil.  She was hurting my son.  She abused the position she was trusted with and she hurt my son…I sent her back to hell where she needs to stay.”

Garten was eventually captured after a police standoff at a motel in Lexington.

Meg Smith had numerous protective orders against Garten, including one filed just one month before she was shot to death, according to the State Journal.