ROSENBERG, Texas — Authorities from Texas to Florida were searching Monday for a prison guard accused of stabbing his wife and mother-in-law in a double-slaying witnessed by children.
Detectives in the Houston suburb of Rosenberg were looking for Albert James Turner, 44, who faces murder charges after an argument at the home of his in-laws turned violent early Sunday, Rosenberg police Lt. Colin Davidson said.
Turner has family near Orlando, Fla., and Davidson said law enforcement agencies all along Interstate 10 have been notified in case Turner is headed that way. The 6-foot-1 Turner weighs about 270 pounds and should be considered armed and dangerous, Davidson said.
"He knows what goes on in prison, so who knows what he's going to do," Davidson said. "He probably wouldn't want to go back to the place where he worked."
Davidson said Turner was identified by eyewitnesses, including a child who called 911.
"The children did witness some of it, yes," Davidson said. "This was a violent crime scene."
The victims were Turner's 39-year-old wife, Keitha Frank Turner, and her mother, 66-year-old Betty Jo Frank. The women were the daughter and wife of Rosenberg preacher Gene Frank of the Church of Living Waters, Davidson said.
The Franks, Turners and at least two grandchildren were at the home when an argument escalated, Davidson said. He did not know who was fighting or why.
Davidson was unsure how many children were in the home but told the Houston Chronicle there were at least two, with the older one being 12.
Turner could be traveling in his maroon Honda Accord, with a Texas plate: 494-JFY and possibly wearing a gray Texas Department of Criminal Justice uniform.
Turner has been with the corrections agency since 1992, first at the Darrington Unit in Brazoria County, and since 1997 at the Jester Unit, a psychiatric prison in Fort Bend County, Texas prison system spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said Monday.
"Apparently he was supposed to have reported for work on Saturday but didn't show up," she said. After his Saturday shift, Turner was scheduled for four days off.
Lyons said the agency investigators have offered their assistance to authorities in Rosenberg.
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Turner's recent work history shows only a single disciplinary issue for failing to secure a door in a prison release area, she said. That occurred in July 2006.