Suspect makes initial court appearance


ELLSWORTH (AP) – A Bangor man made his initial court appearance Monday on a murder charge in the gunshot slaying of an Ellsworth man whose body was found two weeks ago in a ditch in Amherst.

John Turner, 34, has been held in the Hancock County Jail since his arrest Friday at Acadia Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Bangor.

Turner is accused of killing 27-year-old Tad Howard. Authorities have said Turner and Howard knew each other, but would not say what may have led to the shooting.

At Monday’s hearing, the victim’s parents and siblings were in the courtroom as Turner sat upright staring straight ahead.

Turner didn’t speak, except to confer with his attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker.

Toothaker said his client is on a suicide watch at the jail.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday to determine if bail will be set.

AP-ES-07-23-07 1822EDT