NEWPORT, CARTERET COUNTY - A Lenoir County man, accused of a road rage brawl and shooting in Newport Sunday afternoon, made his first court appearance Wednesday morning.
At the Carteret County Courthouse, a judge told 40-year-old Bradley Turner that if convicted, he could spend up to four years in prison. In addition, he must not have any contact with the victims or their families, and must relinquish any firearms. His next court appearance was scheduled for May 3.
Bradley Turner's wife, 30-year-old Christy Turner, accompanied her husband to court Wednesday morning. Her own court appearance was set for May 1.
On Monday, the Turners, of Institute Road in La Grange, were charged for the alleged road rage attack, which deputies said happened at about 1 p.m. Sunday in Newport. According to investigators, the Turners were driving their Toyota SUV in James City, when they were cut off by a Chevy truck, driven by Josh Berry.
Berry said the Turners followed his truck all the way to a home in Newport. Bradley Turner then got out of his SUV and landed the first blow, Berry said.
"When [Bradley Turner] walked up, I just looked at him, he said a couple of words, threw a punch, and it was on like Donkey Kong," said Berry. "[Turner] assaulted both of us first before we ever landed a hit. It was complete self defense."
Berry said when he and his passenger, Nathan Brotzman, were able to knock Bradley Turner down, that was when Turner's wife showed up with a weapon.
"We see his wife come out of the car and she's got a gun, and you see in the video, both of us leave," Berry said. "She's got the gun, hands it to him and her facial expression is completely calm. Even when he racks the gun, accidentally discharges, her face doesn't even flinch."
"Everyone got to see the fun part of it. We're the ones who saw a gun pointed to our face and felt we [were] about to die," Brotzman said.
Deputies said Bradley Turner then left the scene, but returned a few moments later and fired several shots at Berry's truck, which was unoccupied at the time. According to investigators, Turner caused more than $200 in damage to the vehicle.
Both Bradley and Christy Turner turned themselves in Monday afternoon, according to investigators. Bradley was charged with discharging a weapon into property, two counts of assault by pointing a gun, going armed to the terror of the people, injury to personal property, and assault. Christy was charged with two counts of assault by pointing a gun.
A friend of the Turners said he was "in shock" by the allegations.
"I don't know what happened, but its got to be something really bad happen to trigger them to do what they did. They're great people... They're church-going people. They [wouldn't] hurt anybody," said Hafadh Hauter, who has known the Turners for 13 years.
Deputies told NewsChannel 12 that Berry and Brotzman were not charged because they were defending themselves.
"A lot of people are saying, 'you should just put the phone down and call the cops, do the right thing. But it's like, if you're in that predicament, what are you going to do? You don't know," said Berry. "It's the heat of the moment. Your adrenaline is going, you're not going to think right, and we defended ourselves. That's what we did."
"When [Turner] pulled up behind us, we knew something was gonna happen. [But we] had no intention on what actually did happen," Brotzman said. "For everyone out there that's talking this and that about how we tried to jump him and it was unfair, we were in the wrong. To a point, yes, we were. But to another point, that was self defense, we had no intention of doing this to this guy."
Deputies said the Turners' 4-year-old child was in their SUV during the road rage attack. The child was not hurt, but the Department of Social Services was contacted in regards to this incident.
"When I looked up [during the fight], that's when I see the kids in the car. That's the only reason why I didn't keep kicking [the suspect]," Brotzman said. "I looked up and kind of seeing the kids just staring at me, crying for their dad."
Bradley Turner was previously arrested for assault and trespassing charges in 2002 and 2003, investigators said. Those charges were later dropped. Attempts to contact the Turners for comment have not been answered.