U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Missouri reporter assaulted at his home after reporting on sexual misconduct allegations

Incident Details

Date of Incident
September 11, 2017
Joplin, Missouri


Was the journalist targeted?
Randy Turner
— Randy Turner
November 8, 2018 - Update

Man who punched Missouri reporter is sentenced for the assault

The man who assaulted Missouri reporter Randy Turner at his home was sentenced on Nov. 8, 2018, for the attack, according to the Joplin Police Department.

Christopher E. Alred knocked on Turner’s door on Sept. 11, 2017, and, after confirming Turner’s identity, punched him in the nose. Turner is reporter and editor at a blog called The Turner Report and had published articles there the day before and day of the attack about allegations of sexual misconduct against Alred.

Alred later pleaded guilty to the assault and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $331. The sentence was suspended on condition of no new violations for two years and no contact with Turner, a police department staffer confirmed by telephone to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

September 11, 2017

Randy Turner, a former newspaper reporter who now runs a blog called The Turner Report, was punched in the face at his home in Joplin, Missouri, on Sept. 11, 2017, after a man knocked on his door and asked, "Are you Mr. Turner?”

After confirming his name, the man punched Turner in the nose, causing him to fall to the floor, and then walked away. Turner, who saw a doctor following the attack, suffered bruises on his face, a black eye and injured knee, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

Turner told the Freedom of the Press Foundation, “I consider myself fortunate that all that happened was me being punched. The man could have had a gun or he could have kept on punching me. I am 61 years old and had triple bypass heart surgery a few months ago and I have a pacemaker.”

Turner believes that his assailant was Christopher Alred, a former supervisor at a local Sonic restaurant.

Turner had published articles on his blog about Alred on Sept. 10 and 11, the day before and the day of the attack. The articles reported on allegations of sexual misconduct against Alred. According to Missouri court records, Alred has been charged with one count of “statutory sodomy” in the second degree. (Alred's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

On Sept. 13, Joplin Police announced: “We are seeking the arrest of Christopher Alred, 31, for the assault of local blogger Randy Turner. We know he frequents the area along with the Springfield area. Our detectives developed probable cause to arrest him yesterday afternoon and he hasn't been located.”

Following the attack at his home, Turner told the Springfield News-Leader, “I mainly want to show people that this is not going to stop me from doing what I'm doing and what I have been doing for the last 40 years.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].