Man confesses to Rusk County murder say police - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Man confesses to Rusk County murder say police

Joe Don Turner. Photo Source: Dallas County Joe Don Turner. Photo Source: Dallas County

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Joe Don Turner, 34, was arrested in Hutchins Wednesday after he admitted to the murder of a Rusk County man say police. Eugene Snitker, 76, was killed inside his home Tuesday night, off of County Road 4267-D in Reklaw.

The affidavit states that Turner is the grandson of Snitker's next door neighbor. He had borrowed money from Snitker on several occasions. Turner was staying at his grandparents home on CR 4267-D with his girlfriend Sunday and Monday.

Turner was arrested at the Globe Inn Hotel in Hutchins. Police responded to a domestic dispute at the hotel, and when they arrived, Turner's girlfriend told the officers that Turner admitted to the killing Snitker. Turner confessed to the murder. He has been transported to the Rusk County Jail, and his bond is set at $2,000,000.

On Wednesday, The Rusk County Sheriff's Department says Snitker was barely alive when his wife found him, and it appears he was beaten to death.

A Korean War veteran, Eugene Snitker was known as "Brother Gene" by his church. His brutal murder has shocked those who knew him.

"I'm like no, no, no, no, stop," said Eric Brewer. "And, he was like, 'Ya, they beat him to death.'"

"There was quite a bit of trauma," said Rusk County Sheriff Danny Pirtle.

Rusk County Sheriff's Department says that Snitker died at a hospital in Nacogdoches.

After investigating the crime scene, the sheriff says there are no signs of forced entry.

"It wouldn't have mattered what he had in his house," said Brewer. "He would have given it to whoever it was."

Brewer met Snitker at New Faith Church in Sachul. He remembers his friend as a generous man, full of laughter.

"[He was] always funny, always funny," said Brewer. "Anytime we were here at church, he was always smiling."

Snitker and his wife, Helen, raised three grandkids and recently became great-grandparents. Neighbors describe them as friendly, good people.

"I didn't go down there when I heard about it this morning," said Loretta Simmons, a neighbor. "It really hurts my heart to find out because that man is a good person and whatever happened to him, he didn't deserve it."

While the motive remains a mystery, one thing is for sure, Snitker's smile will be remembered and missed by all.

"He was always smiling and having a great time," said Brewer.

It is a tragedy in a town where everyone is family.

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