Crime & Courts

Wichita driver charged with involuntary manslaughter in crash that killed passenger

A Wichita driver has been arrested in connection with the death of his passenger after a one-vehicle crash three months ago.

Eric Lane Turner Jr. was arrested by Wichita police Saturday, Sedgwick County Jail booking reports show. He had a warrant for charges of reckless involuntary manslaughter, failure to stop at the scene of an injury accident and driving while suspended.

The charges stemmed from the death of 21-year-old Leon Turner after a car crash this summer, Wichita Police Department spokesman Officer Kevin Wheeler said.

The wreck happened around 8:25 a.m. July 5, when a silver Pontiac G6 struck two parked and unoccupied vehicles in the 2600 block of East Mossman, near Ninth and Grove, Wheeler said. Eric Turner was the driver. Leon Turner was the passenger, and he was critically hurt and later died from his injuries.

Leon Turner was pronounced brain dead July 7, according to a report filed in Sedgwick County District Court in September. The coroner determined in an autopsy that Leon Turner’s cause of death was blunt force trauma and that the manner of his death was accidental.

Wheeler said he did not know the relationship between the two men.

Eric Turner lives about a block from where the fatal crash happened, booking reports show. He remained in jail Sunday afternoon in lieu of $75,000 bail in the case. He is also being held on an $80,000 bail on a warrant alleging a probation violation in a 2018 case.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office added Eric Turner, 21, to the most wanted list for violating his probation in an original case of criminal possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Among the various incidents cited by the Sedgwick County Department of Corrections in support of the probation violation warrant were the July 5 crash, having alcohol in his system July 2 and possessing a gun, possessing marijuana and being caught driving without a valid license June 29 — six days before the deadly wreck.

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