Jury convicts ex-city of Waco employee in assault of police officer during 2018 disturbance

Ronald Louis Turner, 32, is on trial on first-degree felony aggravated assault against a public...
Ronald Louis Turner, 32, is on trial on first-degree felony aggravated assault against a public servant and state jail felony attempting to take a weapon from a peace officer.(KWTX GRAPHIC)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:37 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - UPDATE: A McLennan County jury Wednesday morning convicted Ronald Louis Turner of aggravated assault of a peace officer, but found him not guilty of attempting to take the officer’s gun.

The jury deliberated about an hour and 15 minutes before reaching its verdict.

The punishment phase of the trial will continue lunch break.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Testimony is set to begin Tuesday in the trial of a former city of Waco employee who authorities say held a knife to a police officer’s throat and tried to grab his gun during a disturbance in 2018.

Ronald Louis Turner, 32, is on trial in Waco’s 19th State District Court on first-degree felony aggravated assault against a public servant and state jail felony attempting to take a weapon from a peace officer charges in a July 2018 incident at a city of Waco employee health clinic.

Prosecutors Will Hix and Rebeckah Lawson and defense attorney Jonathan Sibley selected a jury to hear the case on Monday.

The incident at the clinic on North Fourth Street began after officials called police saying Turner was intoxicated and needed to be removed from the location, according to an arrest affidavit.

Turner, who Sibley said is a former city of Waco Parks and Recreation Department employee, appeared to be angry and started to attack a staff member, the affidavit alleges. Fabian Klecka, a veteran Waco police officer, tried to break up the altercation and attempted to arrest Turner on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication.

The city employee Turner was struggling with tried to help subdue Turner, the affidavit states. Turner then pulled a knife and held it to Klecka’s throat. Another city employee knocked the knife from Turner’s hand and helped the officer take him into custody. Klecka suffered superficial injuries to his neck, injured his knees, and heatstroke at the hospital after the incident, officials said.

The affidavit alleges Klecka used a stun gun on Turner, but it had little effect on him. Turner tried to pull the officer’s gun from its holster, but another city employee blocked him from doing so, the affidavit alleges.

The trial is expected to last through Wednesday. If convicted, Turner, who is seeking probation, faces from five to 99 years and up to life in prison on the aggravated assault against a peace officer charge and up to two years in a state jail facility on the count charging him with trying to take the officer’s weapon.