Judge orders December trial for teen charged with assault

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

NEOSHO, Mo. -- A southwest Missouri teen-ager will stand trial in December for allegedly pushing another teen into a rain-swollen creek.

A Dec. 4 trial date was set for Jackie Turosik, 17, of Neosho, after he waived formal arraignment and pleaded innocent Monday to a charge of first-degree assault in Newton County Circuit Court.

The charge stems from the May 8 drowning death of Justin Houk, 17, of Neosho. His body was found three days later in a creek. Authorities initially were told Houk, who wore a cast on his broken left leg, went into the water to get his feet wet and was swept away by the current. Investigators later determined Houk had been pushed.

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