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Dad of slain EMU student has bond cut on porn charge

The Detroit News

Monroe — A Monroe man who is a person of interest in the death of his stepdaughter had his bond on an unrelated charge reduced Tuesday to $25,000.

James Turnquist, 47, who is charged with possession of child pornography, was still being held at the Monroe County Jail late Tuesday afternoon.

His bond originally was $100,000 but, during a court hearing, his lawyer challenged prosecutors’ comments last week that Turnquist’s actions before and after his arrest suggested he was a danger to himself or others.

Attorney Paul Stablein said Turnquist, after a police search of his home, had never loaded several firearms into his car before driving away from the home. Police found only one gun, which was in the car before the search, Stablein said.

Also, Stablein said an unidentified hospital worker disagreed with the prosecutors’ contention that coworkers feared for their safety when Turnquist was brought there for a psychological exam.

Michael Roehrig, assistant Monroe County prosecutor, said during the hearing in Monroe District Court that the earlier statements were based on what law enforcement believed last week.

“We have more information now than on Thursday,” Roehrig said.

Roehrig said he didn’t object to the lowering of the bond.

During his preliminary examination hearing Tuesday, Turnquist waived his right to the hearing so the case was sent to circuit court. The next hearing is scheduled for March 27.

Turnquist’s stepdaughter Julia Niswender, 23, an Eastern Michigan University student, was found dead in the bathtub in her off-campus apartment in 2012.

No one has been charged in her death.