Who are the key individuals in this case, and how can one contact them?
(Terence Garner's Mother)
102 Jenny Lane
Dudley, North Carolina 28333
(Appellate Attorney for Garner)
Miles and Montgomery
P.O. Box 161
Durham, NC 27702
Terence Garner/Terence Garner Defense Fund
c/o North Carolina Center for Actual Innocence
P.O. Box 52446
Shannon Plaza South
Durham, NC 27719
Judge Knox V. Jenkins
(presiding judge in the Garner trial)
Superior Court Judge, Johnston County
P.O. Box 2739
Smithfield, NC 27577
(the prosecuting attorney)
Johnston County District Attorney
P.O. Box 1029
Smithfield, NC 27577
Judge Sydney Eagles, Judge Ralph Walker, Judge Linda McGee
(State Court of Appeals judges who denied an appeal for a new trial)
North Carolina Court of Appeals
P.O. Box 888
Raleigh, NC 27602
Governor Michael F. Easley
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Why didn't Terence Garner get a new trial earlier?
A year after an appeal was filed (in December 1998) for a new trial, the State Court of
Appeals rendered its decision to deny the appeal. In terms of what is
called "findings of facts" (that is, determinations of witness credibility and what actually happened), the Court of Appeals is required by law to defer to the
trial judge so long as there is any evidence supporting the trial court's
finding. Judge Jenkins' finding was that the testimony of the two eyewitnesses was "unequivocal" and that the jury would have believed them and
convicted Garner no matter what.
Just as Judge Jenkins rejected everything inconsistent with that finding, so
did the State Court of Appeals. It agreed that eyewitness Bertha Miller's belated statement -- that the trigger man was not Garner -- did not justify a new
trial. It gave no weight to Riddick's denial of Garner's involvement because
Riddick had given different versions of the events at different times. It also
agreed that the Deloach confession was "probably not true" -- because it was
induced, he said, by threats to have his girlfriend evicted and her daughter taken away, and because the psychiatrist found him capable of confessing to
something he didn't do.
Thus the sentence imposed by Judge Jenkins was left standing, and the Supreme
Court of North Carolina refused to review the case.
What about the "four robbers" theory -- the view that both Terence Garner and Terrance Deloach were participants in the robbery?
The four robbers theory came out in the sentencing of Keith Riddick. From the
transcript, Judge Jenkins appears inclined to believe in this theory, as he brings
it up in the course of his questions to Riddick before sentencing him. There is no evidence that there was a fourth person involved in the crime.
The state never charged Deloach with being involved in the crime, which
indicates authorities probably didn't believe Garner and Deloach were both
How significant is the fact that no expert on the reliability of eyewitness testimony testified in Garner's trial?
The defense wanted to have an expert on eyewitness identification testify
before the jury, but the judge would not allow it. (It is entirely within the
discretion of a trial judge to disallow expert testimony.) Scientific testing and evidence indicate that any eyewitness can be mistaken. Studies have found that eyewitnesses who are more likely to be mistaken are
those who were subject to stress, or to being attacked, or where the crime
involved people of two different races. In recent years, dozens of prisoners who were convicted based on
eyewitness testimony have been freed because of DNA evidence proving their
innocence. The transcript of the Garner trial suggests there was a determination
by the court that the eyewitnesses were to be believed, no matter what.
What are some of the curious aspects and unanswered questions about the robbery
investigation and the subsequent trial and post-conviction hearing for Terence
Why would Kendrick Henderson testify that Terence Garner was innocent if, in fact, he was not? What motive did Henderson have to testify on Garner's behalf, even though his own attorney advised against it?
All through the trial, Henderson kept telling the jury Garner wasn't
the guy. Although the state looked for evidence that Henderson and Garner knew
each other, they never found any such evidence.
Why didn't the investigators look harder for the "Terence" person that
Kendrick Henderson first described soon after being caught?
described the accomplice in the robbery as being Keith Riddick's cousin from
New York and told them the address where he was staying. But when they visited the address and found no one there, the
Johnston County investigators simply left, and did not return or post a stakeout.
Keith Riddick admitted commiting perjury when he testified that Terence Garner was the third perpetrator in the robbery. Riddick's testimony at Garner's trial was agreed upon as part of a plea bargain with the prosecution. He had also failed his polygraph test, and yet the prosecutor put Riddick on the stand anyway.
Law enforcement officers from different jurisdictions often cooperate on cases, but there was
unusual antagonism between the law enforcement departments in Johnston County
and Wayne County. The root of this antagonism remains a mystery.
How does one explain Deloach's confession to Wayne County law enforcement officers that he was
involved in the crime, and then, only a few hours later, his recantation under interrogation by Johnston County officers? His
six-page written confession exists, but there are no tapes or verbatim record
of what happened later, during the four-and-a-half hour questioning by Johnston
County officials. Near the end of the questioning, Deloach recanted his
confession that he had been a participant in the robbery.
Some observers say that Judge Jenkins' actions and decisions seemed curious or
unfair. He refused to allow an eyewitness identification expert to testify;
at the post conviction "motion for appropriate relief" he scolded the Wayne
County law enforcement officials for their actions; at the end of the Garner
trial, he turned to Alice Wise and said how proud he was of her testimony -- an action suggesting he was on the side of the eyewitness.
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