Mark Turner is a man living and working in Florida in the auto industry - in the same industry where Byrd "Bud" Billings worked. In fact, they some times worked together. See a video below.
Mark Turner has quite a story himself, and it may or may not involve some of the players responsible for the deaths of Byrd "Bud" Billings and his wife Melanie. Mark Turner believes that the same man accused of "organizing" the Billings murders, and pulling the trigger that ended their lives, also tried to kill him in 2007, and maybe his family as well. Turner believes that Pensacola auto giant, Pete Moore of Pete Moore Chevrolet, hired Leonard Patrick Poff Gonzalez, Jr. to kill him. He accused Pete Moore of stealing his Internet business, his employees and his inventory:
According to my appraisal done in 2002, my company would be worth $12 Million by 2006. According to Florida Law, Pete owes me 3 times my company’s worth. That is $36 Million. There has been an attempt on my life December 2007. The Case number is 07-012258. I fully expect other further retaliation, if not my murder. I am crying out for Justice.
As Mark Turner blogs his story, he says:
I am speaking out against the corruption in my area and fully expect to be arrested or killed with the launch of this site.Turner says that he developed a business system which sold cares on the Internet unlike any other technique at the time:
We sold more cars on the internet in 2003 than anyone in the world. The theft of my business and its monetary value has resulted in attempts made on my life as well as facing 3-Life sentences, ALL OVER A CIVIL MATTER. I have stood my ground for what is right and collected the evidence that exposes this corruption.Turner says he has collected evidence that will expose a conspiracy. After September 11, 2001, the automobile industry slowed to a crawl. In a short time, however, Internet sales were climbing again. In 2002 Turner sold half of his business to friends, Lisa and Joe Zolnoski. Differences arose, and the agreement was rescinded. Turner approached his "best friend," Rick Hamilton was General Manager for Pete Moore Chevrolet, working directly for Pete Moore.
For 20 years, Turner had been doing business with Moore and Hamilton. Hamilton told Mark that Moore was interested in Turner's Internet business. Pete Moore was interested in merging with Turner's business, or buying into it. The decision was made, and as agreed, Turner relocated his business next to Pete Moore Chevrolet.
After Moore examined Turner's financials, he offered Turner $500,000 for one-half of the business. Turner agreed although this was greatly below the value of the business, as well as below the previous arrangement he had with the Zolnoski's. Turner accepted the offer because Pete Moore had a lot to offer him, including the means to promote specific programs.
With the deal done, Rick Hamilton agreed to "hand over all the titles he had been holding for me in the line-of-credit he provided for me. So, in other words, any debt Turner owed Hamilton, was now erased. Pete Moore agreed to do the same, and Turner's debt to Moore was erased.
Evidently, the $500,000 was paid to Turner through "cars," provided from what Turner and Moore refer to as the "Slush Fund." Turner believed the offer of $500,000 was low, but he saw the offer as fair because the Pete Moore operation was big, powerful and had much to offer his business.
As I read though Turner's website, I see commenter's talking about the corrupt officials in Pensacola. I have no idea whether or not this is valid. It seems there is a new Sheriff in town, however, and as others say, Sheriff Morgan is cleaning house. If you watched the television coverage of the Billings' murders, you saw the tall, straight-talking Sheriff with a lot of command of the microphone, in front of you often giving press conferences.
Now Turner says that back in the 1990's, a state prosecutor, Russ Edgar, "forced" Turner into taking a "pleas for 1-year or facing a 40-years sentence on a racketeering and loan-sharking charge. This charge was related to my car business and the interest rates I charged in 1993. After 2 years of torture from the State, I took the plea to the lesser....[I] was no longer in a position to fight.
I later realized this tactic was Prosecutor Edgar’s MO. He charges everyone with RICO so most bend over and take the Plea rather than face life in prison. I spent 5-months 1-day in a hard labor county road camp. All my restitution was paid. In 1995 I was back in the car business working under my friend David Swanson’s license. As a convicted felon, I was unable to attain my own dealer’s license. My brother David Turner approached me in 1998 telling me he was getting a dealer’s license in Alabama. He offered to get me a dealer license in Florida if I would mentor him in his own wholesale business.Here begins a sordid story of two brothers - one trying to destroy the other, one trying to help the other, according to Mark Turner. The brother's business failed even with Mark Turner's mentoring and financial help. Now Turner's brother David becomes one of the players involved in the 90 year sentence facing Mark Turner.
On the 8th, [December 2003] my brother David and his son-in-law Anthony Ramsey (my general manager) robbed me. At the time, I was unaware of Anthony’s involvement. Evidence surfaced showing Anthony’s participation in the conspiracy. David and Anthony stole all my paid for inventory (PFI), title file, my deposit of nearly $40,000 and intended to empty my business account of the $200,000 + funds available at that time.
They went to my bank (BOP) where David informed my banker Annette Cruz he was going to “fire Mark” and he was there to empty the checking account. Annette informed David that he could not empty the account. It seemed his laziness had caught up with him.
When the BOP had previously purchased my former bank, he neglected to go to the bank and sign the new signature card. I was in Mobile Alabama buying cars when I got a call from Anthony informing me “You may want to call your brother. He came by and got the checkbook, the title file and the deposit from this morning”.
I called David and he told me that I needed to give him the money in the account or he would have Curtis Golden, former state attorney and his wife’s uncle, arrest me or my wife. I informed him that the money in the account was not his. It belonged to the customers who had paid me for cars not yet delivered. You see I offered my customers a 100% money back guarantee. If the buyer was not satisfied, they would be getting a refund. The funds in the account belonged to them.Turner's banker, Annette Cruz advised Mark to open another business account and put all the funds in that account so that David could not get into it. Mark opened the new account, Cruz took about $50,000 out of the new account, and transferred it to the old account to cover checks still clearing. And then the road to a 90-year sentence stretched before him. The new account and the transfer of funds
"landed me with Money Laundering Charge #1."The funds in the account were determined to belong to Mark Turner by the civil attorneys for both Turner's and the bank. The bank no longer wanted to do business with either Turner and Mark Turner was instructed to pick up his money. They refused to do a wire transfer to Mark's attorney's trust fund, so Mark Turner picked up the checks and took them to his attorney for deposit into the attorney's trust fund. This transfer of money
"landed me with Money Laundering Charge No. 2."Money continued to come in to Mark Turner's business. Turner continued to pay Pete Moore as agreed, with checks that are entered into evidence. He continued to transfer his team of workers, all equipment, and inventory to Pete Moore's location. Moore continued to "use my website and intellectual property including my server located in Texas, BUT...Moore decided not to honor their agreement and not to pay Turner for his business. Turner's civil attorney, Jim Chase, sent a demand letter and then filed the lawsuit for the theft of Mark Turner's business.
Out of nowhere, I am arrested on July 6, 2006, years after I filed the civil suit against Pete. But it was not Pete who claimed I had done him any wrong. Pete’s attorneys were now representing my brother David. They fabricated 4 volumes of allegations that I had wronged David Turner and the Zolnoskis. The criminal trial proved all allegations made by Pete’s attorneys were false. The charges for David and the Zolnoskis were dropped.Turner said that while Pete Moore was not a victim in his brother David's case, Pete Moore's attorneys were responsible for his arrest. You can read the motives attributed to David Turner's lawsuit here. Now comes a criminal lawsuit, filed by Pete Moore's attorney, Michael Guttman. Turner says that Guttman was told to "do whatever it takes to make Mark Turner go away," and he says this is stated in Guttman's testimony:
Guttman, together with Pete's other attorneys conspired to have me arrested when I refused to accept their offer to settle my civil suit against them. Pete's attorneys compiled 4 books of endless billable hours of research and delivered them to the Escambia County Sheriff's Department. The allegations made against my wife and me did not claim Pete Moore as a victim. The allegations made against my wife and me were criminal. How does a civil law firm practice criminal law without a criminal attorney on staff?Mark Turner said the same state prosecutor, Russ Edgar, who put him in prison years ago on false RICO charges, was still in on the action. Turner said he was not guilty and he would not let Edgar do the same thing he did in the '90's. Evidence was ignored and withheld, according to Turner:
I was found guilty by a jury not of my peers. My key witness was threatened if he took the stand. My defense attorney told the judge, me and my wife that this trial could take up to 2-months. He chose to make his defense in 2 days. Motion hearings are missing from my public defender's Books of Appeal. Why? Because, my defense attorney filed my appeal and apparently, whoever files the appeal, orders the Books of Appeal. I had numerous witnesses that were never called. See People Involved. Testimony was blocked. Evidence was blocked. My Defense was blocked.
The criminal case started around July 6th 2006 in the state of Florida. They have tried their best to break me spiritually, emotionally and financially. The torture they have put my family through is difficult to explain.
Imagine no health insurance for your children. Imagine going from perfect credit to a foreclosure on your home and repossession of your 500 SL and boat. My wife was arrested and declared a "flight risk" so that her bond could be set at $250,000. She has lived here since the age of 9-years old and is a licensed professional in 2 counties. I have been married to her since 1984.
Let's talk about a flight risk...Do you remember the astronaut in the love triangle? The one who wore the diaper and had everything to commit murder and dispose of the body in the trunk of her car? Her bond was $15,000...same state. She could leave the planet! She paid $1500, my wife wife paid $25,000. My bond was $15,000. Dirty Pool! It gets worse...I had to pay $50,000 for her to go in front of the judge only for Russ [Edgar] to say "The state does not plan on pursuing Mrs. Turner any further, we will refer her to other agencies".Mark Turner's website says he is currently out on an appeal on two charges. His civil suit against Pete Moore, Pete Moore Chevrolet and Rick Hamilton is still ongoing. Read more about Turner's current status here.
Turner says he has been telling authorities in the area that a hit man has been loose in the area for a couple of years now, but could not get anyone to take his information seriously. Obviously, Turner had reason to believe that the attempted break in in his home was no accident, because he was already embroiled in a lawsuit with a powerful dealer, and fighting against, perhaps, a corrupt prosecutor. No wonder the thinks the intruder was no accident and certainly no "wrong house."
While the Mark Turner story is one thing, and the Bryd and Melanie Billings murders are another, there may be commonalities. Mr. Turner believes that Pete Moore sent Patrick Gonzalez to kill him in December 2007. The Escambia Country Sheriff believes that Patrick Gonzalez organized the Billings' murders and pulled the trigger resulting in both deaths. Patrick Gonzalez has told investigating officers that some in the auto industry specifically asked him to "whack" Bud Billings.
Gonzalez said he refused to do the job. Gonzalez said Cab Tice specifically asked him to "whack" Bud Billings, but he refused. Gonzalez said in the same interview linked above, that some in the auto industry in the area, did not like Bud Billings. Now, who knows what the truth is. In the early days of the Billings murders, Sheriff Morgan said this case was a "humdinger." Gonzalez said the case is "very deep." I say it is mind boggling.