Adil Dghoughi’s mother Fatiha Dghoughi (l) and brother Othmane Dghoughi at a Nov. 23 press conference last year (Photo by John Anderson)
The family and supporters of Adil Dghoughi, the Moroccan immigrant killed by 65-year-old Terry Turner outside Martindale last fall, are celebrating something they thought might never occur – Turner’s indictment for first-degree murder. Learning of the Feb. 9 indictment, Dghoughi’s mother, Fatiha Haouass, thanked Caldwell County District Attorney Fred Weber. “Today, the district attorney stood up against those who think this murder was justified and showed me and the world the honorable person he is,” she said.
Dghoghi, a 31-year-old ride-hailing driver, had lived in Austin for a little over a year when he turned his car into the small neighborhood of Hopson Ranch Estates, six miles east of San Marcos on the Hays/Caldwell county line, on the morning of Oct. 11. Turner told authorities that he woke at 3am that morning to find Dghoughi’s car sitting in his driveway, something that has not been independently verified; the car was found in the street. Turner said he grabbed a handgun to confront the driver – who by then was accelerating in reverse – ran to the driver’s side window, and fired one shot into Dghoughi’s brain. “He raised a gun and I shot,” Turner said in a 911 call after the killing. The only gun found at the scene was Turner’s.
Turner was not arrested that morning, however, and a Caldwell County sheriff’s deputy told Dghoughi’s girlfriend Sarah Todd, who lives near the crime scene, that the killing looked like self-defense. She and Dghoughi’s brother Othmane enlisted the support of Mano Amiga, a San Marcos-based social justice group, and took the story to the media; Turner was arrested 10 days later. Afterward, concerned about rumors of Turner’s connections to area law enforcement personnel, Dghoughi’s advocates continued pushing the story.
Haouass traveled to Texas in January to join that push. Now, she said she is returning to her two other children and to her husband, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 during her absence, with new trust in the American system. Othmane will accompany her. He spent days last October unable to eat or sleep as he worked to get Adil’s body transported to Morocco. “In my darkest moments I cried, because how could I face my brother’s grave if I allowed his life to be disrespected and diminished by law enforcement who believed Turner’s lies?” he said. “Now, I can visit my brother’s grave to tell him that we are one step closer to getting justice.”
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