New Details In Turnage Death, Funeral Plans Set

Greenville Police have released more details about the events they say led up to the death of a local high school football player.

Detectives say 19-year-old Thomas Lee Conlan is the one they believe planned the robbery early Friday morning that led to the shooting death of 18-year-old Tony Turnage. That's according to the Daily Reflector. The newspaper says Conlan, a J.H. Rose High graduate, stayed outside the apartment of Kenneth Sprouse while Turnage and two others went in. The paper says Conlan stayed outside because Sprouse knew who he was, detectives believe.

Meanwhile, funeral arrangements for Turnage are set. An obituary says a memorial service will be held Thursday afternoon at Mitchell's Funeral Home in Greenville, from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. Turnage's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday.

Previous update

Greenville police have released more information into a shooting Friday morning that left a Rose High School student dead.

Kenneth Sprouse was charged Friday with the 2nd degree murder of Tony Turnage. Turnage was killed in what police say was a drug robbery of Sprouse at his Cypress Gardens apartment. Sprouse's bond is set at $200,000 and remains in jail.

Several others have been charged for the robbery of Sprouse.

18-year-old Terry Streeter, 17-year-old Michael Mooring II, 16-year-old Thomas Edwards, and 19-year-old Thomas Conlan, all of Greenville, have been charged with first degree burglary, second degree kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Streeter is a senior at Rose, Edwards a junior, while Conlan is a Rose graduate. Mooring is a senior at North Pitt High School.

All four are in jail under a $150,000 bond.

Pitt County Schools say Sprouse practiced with the Rose wrestling team last November, but was always under supervision.

Even though Sprouse's Facebook page says he's an ECU student, the university says he is not currently enrolled.

Previous Update

Greenville Police say J.H. Rose High School football player Tony Turnage was shot and killed by the resident of an apartment he and two other Rose students had just robbed.

Police say Turnage and the other students, armed with a gun, knife, and bat, approached apartment 122 at Cypress Gardens along 1401 East 10th St. around 3 a.m. Friday.

Police say the resident inside, 20 year-old Kenneth Andrew Sprouse heard a knock at the door. That's when police say Turnage and the other two forced their way inside, assaulted Sprouse, took money, marijuana, and a laptop. Police say as they were leaving Sprouse grabbed a shotgun and hit Turnage and killed him.

The two other students with Turnage dumped him at PCMH. Police say those two are in custody.

Surveillance video from the hospital shows Turnage being dropped off
just moments before he was pronounced dead. WITN chose not to air that video or post that video on upon its release Friday because of several reasons: the suspects and vehicle shown in the video were already identified by police; WITN News has a policy not to air video of deceased individuals. Turnage's condition is unclear in the video, though we do know it appears less than five minutes passed upon the arrival at the hospital and when his death was pronounced; and out of the respect for his family and his fellow students at J.H. Rose High School.

Police are still looking for two others who they say orchestrated the robbery.

Police Chief William Anderson says Sprouse had just taken possession of an amount of drugs considered more than for personal use and that was the target of the robbery.

Sprouse is being charged with second degree murder. His first court appearance is set for Monday. Police say all of the individuals involved knew each other.


A high school football player is dead, after a shooting in Greenville.

Officials say Tony Turnage died overnight. The medical examiner says Turnage was found with three bullet wounds, one in the back, head and neck. He was pronounced dead at 3:02 a.m.

The J.H. Rose football coach tells WITN news Turnage was shot and died last night.

Coach Todd Lipe said "our hearts and prayers go out to the Turnage family and his friends. Tony was a great kid and it's a shame that this happened. We hope that police will be able to solve this crime quickly."

Pitt County Sheriff Mac Manning says he got a call around 3:24 a.m. saying a 18-year-old man had been dropped off at the ER at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. The sheriff said the people who brought the young man to the hospital left before hospital officials could give any information.

We are trying to confirm where the shooting took place.

A press conference is scheduled 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Greenville Police Department.

Turnage is the second Rose High player to die this school year. In September Jaquan Waller died from injuries he received in a game against Hoggard High School.

Stay with WITN News and for more on this story as information becomes available.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kenny's Family Location: HICKORY on Jun 12, 2009 at 08:15 PM
    First and foremost we wish to send our deepest regrets to the Turnage family. We are praying for the family and ask for forgiveness on behalf of Kenny and the family as we also forgive.There is no justification of actions on either side and no amount of appologies will change the outcomes, but hatred and blame will not bring us through the hurt all of the families face. We thank everyone for all the support and please continue in prayer for all the families involved. We have set up a legal fund for Kenny for everyone who wishes to contribute monetary support. Information on how to donate can be accessed for now by calling First Citizens Bank at 828-495-8281 and give reference to the Kenneth Andrew Sprouse Legal Fund. Thanks again to everyone and god Bless
  • by J Location: Winterville on Apr 29, 2009 at 08:27 AM
    Ok here is the deal. If you are dumb enough to break into someone's house, then you should be shot. I don't care if you are a school athlete or a junkie or both. It sucks for his family, but the shooter is the one that deserves a freaking medal. If someone breaks into my house, I will shoot him and any of his friends that are around. They come in...they die. I am shooting to kill. Everyone else should do exactly the same thing. I know the law said they were retreating so its ok. No its not, we should all write our legislature rep.s to get that law changed. I know I sound old school, but nobody tried stupid mess like this either. EVERYONE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS! If you get shot breaking in, then you chose your fate. If a group of people broke into your elderly parent's house and were kicking your dad, you would shoot them, its just a shame he didn't kill all of them. If you have a problem with something I said, write somebody who cares what you think!
  • by Bertie Chick Location: Windsor on Apr 28, 2009 at 11:46 AM
    I mean okaye... Wat can i possibly say he is already dead n gone... I mean dat was his fault i mean maybe it was his tyme to leave. I mean he shouuldn't of tried to rob dat place or watever. Best best wishes goes out to the family...
  • by anonymous Location: greenville on Apr 27, 2009 at 11:41 AM
    drop the charges. they didn't have any business trying to rob somebody in the first place. i'm sure tony fam. is hurt, but he had no business there in the first place. he went there to do harm and look what happen. karma, karma, karma!!!!
  • by Calleesha Location: greenville on Apr 27, 2009 at 08:19 AM
    please just leave it alone ! it's over and done with .
  • by anon Location: hickory nc on Apr 26, 2009 at 07:31 PM
    this is a tragic situation, in which not only the loved ones of tony turnage are affected but the loved ones of kenny sprouse are as well. Not to make any excuses..kenny wasn't always a bad person and didnt always make wrong choices, growing up he lived a hard life, being moved around from household to household, and basically being thrown into the real world at a young age. he did whatever he had to survie, whether it meant living out of his car or on the streets. i, being a close friend of kenny's and someone he once lived with, feel that he was probably reacting the best way that he knew how inorder to defend himself and his property which was tremendously threatend. though i dont condone taking another mans life by any means or the life of drugs i still love kenny and support him, and hope that this tragedy will completely turn his life around. kenny your friends back home love you and miss you
  • by k Location: b on Apr 24, 2009 at 12:28 PM
    I think charges should be dropped they should not have been robbing his house in the first place.We have the right to bare arms and to protect ourselves and our families.If they would have stayed where they belonged in the first place this would not of happened. Whats new though keeps getting worse.
  • by Puzzled LEO Location: Greenvile on Apr 24, 2009 at 09:24 AM
    With all the comments, I find it absolutely amazing that people cannot understand that you cannot legally shoot someone in the back when they are running away and are no longer a threat to you.I don't care about the circumstances and your personal feelings, if you shoot the guy in the back while he is leaving the scene of his crime, any crime, you are going to be sitting in the cell next to him. That is the law. Plain and simple. Learn what the laws are and then protect your property in the proper, legal manner. Ignorance of the law is no defense when you show up in Superior Court looking at 10 to 20 years in the slammer with all the friends of the guy you killed. Good intentions and a clean criminal record won't mean anything if you scrwed up and shoot them in the back. Learn the laws, practice shooting the weapon you will use to defend yourself. Real important !!! If you can't look the guy in the eyes and shoot him in the chest, don't buy the gun, cause you are going to get killed.
  • by tanz Location: a life...for a life... on Apr 24, 2009 at 09:16 AM
    wat was his....??? come on now....marajuana...ha! something that should pat an extra charge on him...he had more that useful...meaning too much!!! so...therefore he was only protecting it to sell or use fools who take up for him lol
  • by joe Location: williamston on Apr 24, 2009 at 08:22 AM
    why charge sprouse he was just protecting what was his regardless of what it was,those guys had no business there,thats the same thing if someone breaks in an honest person house

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