Mark Turner is a man from Gulf Breeze, Florida, a bedroom community of Pensacola. For years, Turner was a part of the Pensacola auto and used car industry. For years now, Mark Turner has been fighting Pensacola attorneys, and the courts. The media is silent. Update: 9-8-09 below.
I believe Mark Turner’s story is tied to the recent Pensacola murders of Byrd “Bud” and Melanie Billings. Currently in Pensacola, the push is on to dismiss the murders of this couple that adopted multiple handicapped children, as the victims of a rag-tag group of losers who simply wanted to rob the wealth expected to be found in the Billings home.
The local newspaper, the Pensacola News Journal, has devoted many pages to covering the story, but their coverage is not advancing much past a robbery motive, or at least that is my opinion.
There are a lot of questions to ask, and in fact, there have been questions for years…many, many years.
Along side the deaths of the Billings in Pensacola, roils a web of deception that is close to unbelievable, if true. I am attempting to put the whole story together, to see if there is any “there there.” I think there is “there” “there.”
Some in the Pensacola auto industry (not all of it of course) should be under the glare of a bright community spotlight. With the release of Sheriff Department documents, the spotlight was turned on, but the wattage isn’t close to” maximum.”
The murders are getting plenty of publicity, but the fringes of the auto and used car industry that may have led to the murders, are not.
A question to start with is: Is someone in Pensacola, Florida powerful enough to silence the media when some of the auto and used-car industry appear to be operating out of the bowels of Satan – and with attorneys and authorities appearing to be protecting them?
If the answer is, “no one is silencing the media,” then why would this story not be of interest to the people of Pensacola and surrounds?
A years’ long civil lawsuit and an ensuing criminal lawsuit tied to Pete Moore and his business, Pete Moore Chevrolet has garnered no media attention, and yet, just a bit of reading, from legal documents on the web, indicates it may be a very big deal.
Here begins the story as I understand it.
Gulf Breeze resident Mark Turner filed a $36 million civil lawsuit against Pete Moore back in September 2004.
Turner alleged that Moore stole his Internet auto sales business. This civil suit is still going on today. Turner has been fighting for his life, his business and his ability to provide for his family for years. He is facing a possible 90-year prison sentence (3 life sentences), and is out on appeal at the moment.
Now, at this time, assume with me that Mark Turner has all the documents to back up everything I will talk about in this article and every article to come. You do not have to believe it, but assume it with me so that you will understand the story. And by the way, at this point, I believe Turner does have all the documentation he needs. He just has to find a way to allow the courts to admit his evidence, now that it has been tampered with, stolen, denied and even let out of the chain of command from the Escambia County Sheriff’s office (before Sheriff Morgan took office).
Mark was in the auto industry, worked with Bud Billings at times, and most of the auto industry players being mentioned in the Billings’ case, and he believes that Patrick Gonzalez came to his house in December 2007 to kill him in a contract hit. Turner believes the hit was ordered by Pete Moore, the owner of a large GM dealership in Pensacola, Pete Moore Chevrolet.
With this information, wouldn’t you think the local media might be investigating a possible tie?
In September 2004, the same time that Turner filed his lawsuit against Moore, Hurricane Ivan arrived in the Pensacola area, and Mark Turner’s home and Pete Moore’s home and Mark Turner’s brother David’s home were all destroyed.
Mark Turner’s home was already used as collateral on business dealings between Mark Turner and Moore. Mark wanted buy a new home in the same area, and he began trying to determine the total amount that Moore claimed he owed – the total amount of everything, so that he could pay Moore and render his property free and clear. Moore would not co-operate and began a long process of telling Mark to “Let the lawyers take care of it.” Turner continued to pay his mortgage to the bank for his destroyed waterfront home.
Turner found a piece of property he wanted to buy. He began working with a realtor, and told her he could not sell his property until he knew what he owed Moore. The realtor’s closing attorney got involved and received an answer from Moore’s attorney that placed the debt at $205,000.00. Turner knew he did not owe $205,000.00. Turner knew, and can document, that he owed Moore, in total, $146,000.00 and had already paid Moore $90,000.00 of the $146,000.00. Nevertheless, Turner directed the realtor to cut the check to Moore for $205,000.00. The goal was to be free of this very powerful Pensacola General Motors dealer.
At this point, Turner was free and clear of all debt to Pete Moore, and the $36 million civil lawsuit with Turner suing Moore continued.
Now the $205,000.00 is a very big player in this story. Turner says that when Moore received the $205,000.00 from him, Moore put the money in an account that his Comptroller, Roxanne Sawyer perhaps did not know about. It appears that Roxanne did not see the check and was perhaps not told about a $205,000.00 payment, but in trial she testified that she did not see the check but she believed he made a payment of $106,000.oo to clear his debt. If she did know about it, Turner has no proof of that. So the $205,000.00 disappears into the black hole of Pete Moore bookkeeping. The money, however, is known and eventually acknowledged by Pete Moore’s attorney, Mike Guttmann, and a record of those payments were given to Turner’s attorney, Jim Chase.
Civil depositions were under way in the Turner civil suit against Moore. Turner’s civil attorney is Jim Chase. The depositions dragged on for years. Roxanne Sawyer, Moore’s Comptroller appeared for her deposition. Pensacola attorney, Greg Smith, one of Moore’s attorneys, instructed Roxanne not to answer any questions, and she did not. Turner believes that Smith’s goal was and is to hide the fact that Turner no longer owes Moore a penny for anything.
In early 2006, Mark Turner received the insurance settlement on his waterfront property. In July 2006, Turner motored his boat into Pensacola. As he walked to his car in the parking lot, an Escambia County Sheriff’s squad car is waiting for him. Turner was told he was being arrested. The Deputy didn’t know why. Turner was not cuffed until they got to the Sheriff’s headquarters and Turner was never Mirandized, and to this day has never signed a Miranda warning and never had his Miranda rights read to him.
Turner paid $1500.00 on a $15,000 bond and still did not know why he was arrested.
One week after Mark filed his lawsuit, Pete Moore added two more attorneys to his stable of attorneys fighting Turner’s suit. One of those, Larry Matthews, an attorney for Moore’s insurance company, asked Jim Chase, Turner’s civil attorney, to settle the case for a cash settlement. Mark wanted no part of a settlement, and today remains steadfast that he will not settle. That is a long story that I’ll avoid for now, but Turner definitely wants his case to go to trial – and why would he not? He believes he has all the supporting evidence in writing.
After Turner’s rejection of a settlement, he was told that the word around town was that his wife would be arrested – and she was. She paid $25,000 on a $250,000.00 bond, and was also not Mirandized. Nancy Turner’s arrest made the news – a one-liner in the Pensacola New Journal, listing her as a felon for something similar to “business theft.” Mark’s arrest got the same publicity – the one-liner for a felony arrest charged under the “Florida Communications Fraud Act.” That is the full extent of reporting on Mark and Nancy Turner.
Thus began a CRIMINAL case against the Turner’s. Mrs. Turner’s case was eventually dropped. It cost the Turners $50,000.00 for Nancy Turner to appear before a judge. Then Florida Special Prosecutor Russ Edgar said “The state does not plan on pursuing Mrs. Turner any further….”
A reasonable person might assume this was a means to intimidate the family. Nancy Turner has lived in the area most of her life, she is a professional and has never been in trouble with the law, anywhere.
Subsequently, the charges against Mark Turner were shuffled, changed, added to and modified more than 25 times. The state of Florida is pursuing the criminal charges against Turner – not Pete Moore. At no time does Pete Moore claim that he is a victim of anything that Mark Turner has done or did to him.
At this point, the State of Florida maintains that Pete Moore is the victim of theft by Mark Turner, but never, ever does Pete Moore turn-in a report to the Sheriff or Police for either cars or money, and never were there claims to any insurance company of this theft, and neither does Pete Moore every sue Mark Turner.
Mark Turner believes the criminal charges against him are the State’s attempt to help Pete Moore, a high-profile businessman in the area, who regularly donates new vehicles to the Sheriff and Police departments, and others, and advertises on a regular basis in some of the area’s print and online media.
Moore is said to be a very wealthy man, but even the wealthiest do not want to pony-up $36 million if they do not have to. Turner has been denied the right to introduce pertinent evidence. At every turn, Turner seems to meet a blank wall.
Almost every attorney Turner has used, eventually becomes an attorney for Moore, or eventually fails to enter documents, or handle his criminal case efficiently and expediently.
I hope you will stay with me and continue to come back and read. For now, it may be just Pensacola, but in the future it could be Tucson, or Amarillo, or Riverside or…just pick a town anywhere. Is it possible greedy and corrupt prosecutors can ruin lives, steal and destroy documents, ignore evidence, and jail innocents? I’m on the trail to see if this is happening in the Pensacola area.
Coming is specific information about Mark Turner’s Internet Auto Sales company, the motive for why it was stolen, how it was stolen, and how Turner valued his company’s worth at $36 million.
Coming is specific information about the charges against Turner and their disposition.
Coming is information of the evidence, how it was handled, and whether or not it was allowed to be entered, and how some of it was buried.
Coming is the story of how a Sheriff’s Deputy allowed Turner’s evidence out of the Department, breaking the evidence chain-of-security into the hands of Pete Moore’s civil attorney.
Coming is how Florida’s Special Prosecutor, Russ Edgar, manipulated, in a matter of minutes, Turner’s civil attorney Jim Chase, from taking the stand at the criminal trial. Within hours, the Florida Bar told Chase the tactic used was not legal, but it was too late.
Coming is a profile of the attorneys, both private and state and the part they have played in Mark Turner facing 90 years in prison.
1) with the alleged killer of the Billings, Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. telling authorities that people within the auto industry tried to get him to “whack” Bud Billings,
2) and with Turner believing that Gonzalez was the man who tried to break into his home in December 2007 – for the purpose of murdering him, and maybe his family,
3) and with Turner believing the attempted “hit” on him be an attempt to put an end to the $36 million civil lawsuit against Pete Moore…
With legal documents available to everyone, including sworn testimony and a local man facing 3 life sentences…why would the press not want to talk about this? If any Pensacolans out there have an opinion about this, let me know.
Mark Turner Needs Your Help: New Trial for Turner: Letter To Gov. Crist.
Related and Background: