Former Dallas man murdered in Mexico

Authorities say teenage brothers have confessed to robbing and killing Allan Turnipseed in his home

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Former Dallas resident Robert Allan Turnipseed, 62, was found murdered in his home in Colonia Riberas del Pilar, Lago Chapala, Mexico on Jan. 6. His partner, Bob Tennison, found the body.

Two teenage brothers, ages 16 and 17, have been arrested and have confessed to the murder, according to reports in Mexican newspapers.

Newspaper reports say Tennison found his partner’s body lying face down in a hall in their house, with his hands tied behind his back with electrical cord. He had been shot once in the back of the head.

The teenagers stole money from a safe in the house and escaped with the couple’s Toyota pickup with Texas license plates, according to reports.

Turnipseed’s Jalisco driver’s license was found on a street in Chapala the day of the murder. The truck was found abandoned outside of town near Lago Chapala two days later. The teens were arrested on Jan. 11.

Other expatriates who lived in the area knew the teens and helped identify the pair as suspects. The brothers reportedly hold American citizenship and were abandoned by their parents. The parents have not been located.

Turnipseed and Tennison had met the two teenagers recently, but didn’t know their troubled history, according to newspaper reports, which said a friend of theirs had given the brothers food and shelter.

After the teens’ arrest, the older brother confessed to the murder and said they killed Turnipseed after he threatened to turn them in to the police. The older brother told police that they pushed their way into the house and coerced him to open the safe. Then they tied him up and ransacked the house.

After the murder, the brothers went on a spending spree. They had purchased food, clothing, sneakers and marijuana with the stolen money. They were arrested with the murder weapon in their possession.

If convicted, they would be sentenced to juvenile correction.

The town of Chapala is located about 30 miles south of Guadalajara.

Before moving to Mexico, Turnipseed and Tennison lived in Uptown in Dallas. Turnipseed was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in Dallas. He was a graduate of University of Texas at Arlington.

Turnipseed wrote the newsletter for the Stonewall Professional and Business Association for several years.

He and Tennison moved to Mexico in 2004. The couple had been together more than 40 years.

The story was compiled based on reports in the Guadalajara Reporter and the Lago Chapala Crime Watch.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 28, 2011.

—  John Wright

Out lesbian abruptly removed from dean position at Texas A&M University-Commerce

Christine Evans

An open lesbian has been unexpectedly removed from her position as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and the student newspaper reports that “questions have been raised” about whether sexual orientation was a factor.

Christine Evans was removed as dean and given a position as a professor in the agriculture department. Evans told The East Texan that her sexual orientation “probably” wasn’t the reason for her removal as dean. But she adds that even if it was, she would have no recourse. Neither the university policy, nor state or federal law, includes employment protections for gays and lesbians.

“I am openly lesbian, and have made no attempt to either trumpet or hide that orientation,” Evans said. “I’m quite certain that most people on campus and in Commerce who have interacted with me to any extent are aware of that. I can also add that I have had no direct experience of mistreatment or different treatment related to the issue. …

“My personal opinion is that my sexual orientation was probably not the reason for my dismissal,” she said. “Further, although it hasn’t been shared with me, I would be very disappointed if I were to learn that my career status had been so abruptly altered by something so insubstantial.”

The provost of the university, Larry Lemanski, says Evans’ removal was a “personnel matter” and that he wanted to move the college “in a new direction.”

While Evans isn’t publicly claiming anti-gay discrimination, she did take an apparent swipe at the administration.

“It will be refreshing to have a supervisor I respect and colleagues I can trust,” she said.

—  John Wright