MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has new details on Arkansas’ infamous deadbeat dad being told to pay up. We told you how Terry Turnage was told he’d be locked up for a year if he didn’t pay more than $6,000 in child support he owes.
Now some Memphis women, including his children, want to know what the state of Tennessee is going to do about the child support Tunage owes them.
“Tennessee haven’t did anything at all, really. Some women say they get one dollar and two dollars but Arkansas they got those two women what they needed quick,” 28-year-old Lakeisha Morton said.
Morton believes she is Turnage’s oldest child, even though in 28 years, he’s done little more for her than flash a smile her way. She says he’s never given her mother a dime of child support.
Morton saw him for the first time in years while watching News Channel 3. This time, he wasn’t smiling. He was in handcuffs, headed to court where an Arkansas judge ordered him to pay $6,000 in back support or stay in jail for one year.
Morton said, “I just think Tennessee needs to do something. They need to get on him because he could do better.”
The Arkansas judge’s action came less than a month after WREG introduced you to two Forrest City women who have children with Turnage. Both boys are 2 years old.
WREG went to Maximus, the private company contracted by the Department of Human Services to collect child support, to ask why it’s taking so long for Tennessee to collect from Turnage.
“State laws are going to dictate what we’re able to do and what we’re not able to do,” Martha Tonahill said.
Morton hopes Tennessee will start to crack down soon. It won’t help her or her mother, but she’s thinking of her younger sisters and brothers, who she says deserve better.
Morton said, “I just hope they can try to push the issue and just really just make him take care of his responsibilities.”
DHS awarded Maximus, a five-year, $49 million contract to collect payments for parents. That contract comes to an end this year. WREG has asked the state for its system of accountability to see if Maximus is collecting at the rate it promised.