KENOSHA — A man prosecutors say fled the scene of a fatal hit-and-run crash because “he thought someone was trying to kill him” was in court Thursday, Aug. 16 for his preliminary hearing.
During the hearing for Paul Turner, 29, a Kenosha Police Department detective testified, and probable cause was found for further proceedings. Turner was bound over for trial, and an arraignment was set for Sept. 7.
Zachariah Bulanow, 19, of Sturtevant was killed in the crash that happened near 75th Street and Green Bay Road on the night of July 8.
Turner faces one count of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, repeater, and one count of hit-and-run involving death, repeater.
According to the criminal complaint, witnesses say Turner, who was allegedly driving an SUV, attempted to turn northbound into the parking lot of a grocery store near 75th and Green Bay. One witness told police she “observed the motorcycle collide with the back passenger side of the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle initially stopped and then fled the scene.”
A second witness corroborated the story of the first witness — and also followed the suspect vehicle until it stopped on 55th Street in Kenosha. He saw the driver exit the SUV and leave in an unknown direction.
On July 9, Kenosha dispatch received a call from Paul Turner. The complaint indicates Turner refused to give his location to dispatch, but said “he was on his way to the public safety building to give a statement.”
A detective met with Turner. The complaint says Turner “initially stated that he just backed up and was hit from behind.”
After being questioned some more, Turner “stated that after being struck initially, he was rammed from behind and decided to flee the scene, stating that he thought someone was trying to kill him.” Turner told the detective he drove “as fast as he could to get away because cars were following him.” Turner continued by saying “once he thought he had gotten enough space between him and the pursuing cars he pulled over” and fled the area on foot.
The complaint indicates the detective pointed out the inconsistencies with Turner’s story. Turner “eventually stated that he wanted a lawyer.”