For over a month now, jurors have been hearing testimony in the trial of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge. The father and son are accused of planting a bomb in a Woodburn bank in 2008 that killed two police officers and cost another his leg. Each man has implicated the other in the crime. The prosecution will call their final witness Tuesday and is expected to rest their case that day. The defense would then begin calling witnesses when the trial resumes November 16.
One defense witness has drawn a lot of attention already. Judge Thomas Hart ruled that the defense can call Janet Turnidge — Bruce Turnidge’s wife and Joshua Turnidge’s mother — as a witness, even though Oregon law exempts spouses from incriminating one another in court. This is just one of the issues that’s come up since the judge decided the two men would be tried together, despite their requests for separate trials. They do have separate defense teams and each has plead not guilty.
The prosecution argues that both men are guilty and that they specifically intended to kill police officers. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty in this case. Painting the two as anti-government extremists has been a key part the case against them.
Have you been following this trial? What questions do you have? Are you a Woodburn resident? How have bank bombing and the trial affected your community?
- April Baer: Reporter for OPB News
- Desiree Kiesel: Woodburn resident and vice principal of a local school
- Janet Hoffman: Defense attorney with Janet Hoffman and Associates
- Doug Harcleroad: Retired Lane County District Attorney and senior policy advisor for the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance
- Gerard Saucier: Professor of psychology at the University of Oregon