Turner Newman, the 20-year old San Luis Obispo man arrested March 13 after police found him sitting outside a San Luis Obispo bank with a loaded shotgun, handgun, ammunition, handcuffs, leg restraints, duct tape, zip ties and a machete remains in County Jail without bail.
A psychological evaluation of Newman’s mental health has been requested but the results are not yet in, said defense attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu.
Newman pled not guilty to three felony charges: possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle and carrying a loaded firearm in public.
When Newman was arrested outside of Heritage Oaks Bank on Froom Ranch Road he was within 1,000 feet of Pacific Beach High School, where his mother works.
His intentions that morning are unclear. However, the San Luis Coastal School District has hired an attorney because of Newman’s proximity to the high school and his personal connection to it.
“I’ve been hired to monitor the situation and to make sure the safety of the students and employees is protected,” said Ty Green, of Adamski, Moroski, Madden, Cumberland and Green LLP.
No direct threats were made to the school or the staff there, said Eric Prater, San Luis Coastal Superintendent.
“Several people, including employees, have come to me and shared their concerns,” said Prater.
“I share any concern that might be valid if there is a potential risk of harm to our students, staff or anyone in the community.”
A little after 6 a.m. March 13 a bank employee called police to tell them that a suspicious man was parked outside the bank. When the police officers arrived, Newman appeared dazed and confused, according to authorities.
Newman invoked his right to an attorney and did not tell police what his intentions were that day.
Newman, a county native, was discharged from the Army on January 28 after enlisting in October 2010. It was an honorable discharge, said Funke-Bilu.
Turner was stationed with the Army in Korea from March 2010 to April 2012 before reporting back to Fort Campbell, Ky., where his last assignment was in cargo transportation.
He received several military awards while enlisted including the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and an Overseas Service Ribbon.
Funke-Bilu said because of attorney client privilege he could not discuss why Newman had the weapons in his car the morning he was arrested.
“I can’t disclose his intentions no matter how innocent they are,” said Funke-Bilu.
Newman will be back in court on April 17.
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