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Texas HS sports star gets probation in beating death

DALLAS -- A former Dallas high school basketball star was sentenced to probation in the March 2014 beating death of a fellow basketball player, reports CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

Twenty-year-old Johnathan Turner pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Troy Causey, Jr. in a type of probation agreement that would allow him to avoid a formal conviction if successfully completed, the Dallas Morning News reported.

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Slain student Troy Causey, Jr. CBS Dallas-Fort Worth

The victim's family was angry that prosecutors didn't take the case to trial, choosing to offer Turner seven years' probation -- with no prison time.

Tammy Simpson, Causey's mother, lashed out at the basketball star in court Monday, according to CBS DFW.

"I cannot deny nor conceal the pain you have caused my family. The world needs to understand the effects... senseless crime has on victims and their loved ones," Simpson said.

However, Turner's lawyer told the station that the teens were friends, having played basketball together. He then characterized the incident as a "horrible, tragic accident" that "wasn't malicious."

But Causey's father, Referrel Simpson, wasn't buying it, according to the station.

During victim impact statements, he told Turner, "You got all these people fooled, but you don't have me fooled."

Prosecutors say that witnesses weren't cooperating and changed their initial stories, CBS DFW reported.

"We want to do what's in the best interest of the family," Jason Hermus, a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney, told reporters. "We want to make them feel there's justice, but we also have an obligation to the community and that obligation is equally important."

Causey's mother tells CBS DFW she will file a civil lawsuit in the case.

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