... You're at peace about this case?
I'm at peace with the conviction in this case, yes. And I base that upon all
the evidence in the case, including the identification of Garner from the
photographic lineup by Charles Woodard, in the court identifications of Garner
by both Woodard and Alice Wise, and, just as significant, by the fact that they
have both seen the other Terence, Terrance Deloach, and emphatically said that
he was not the shooter.
Deloach is just a coincidence?
Oh, I understand what you're saying. You know, I don't know the answer to that
question. But it's certainly quite possible that Henderson knew Deloach, and so
he didn't pull the information you know entirely out of the air.
But why do you think he tried to blame Deloach?
Again, I don't know the answer to that question. And I don't think it's
appropriate for me to speculate about that.
I frankly don't believe anything Henderson says. I mean, Henderson has lied
throughout these proceedings -- during his interview and during trial and
post-trial, as far as I'm concerned.
You believe Riddick?
Everything that Riddick said pretrial and during trial is consistent with all
the other evidence we know. So the answer to your question is, yes, I believe
Riddick testified truthfully, with one exception. There is no doubt he lied
when he said he did not have a cousin named "Terence," because we were able to
confirm that the other Terence, Terrance Deloach, was in fact Riddick's
He failed the polygraph.
... Riddick was a little reluctant to run the polygraph in the first place. We
decided that the polygraph results were not necessarily all that valid anyway.
The polygraph examiner told me -- and I've been told this on other occasions by
other polygraph examiners -- that polygraph exams administered to people who
are in custody at the time are not all that reliable. The people are depressed
and extremely frightened anyway, and this can affect the subject's performance
on the polygraph exam.
Why do it if it doesn't mean anything?
Well, certainly we wanted to see whether he was willing to take a polygraph,
and that was important to me. But [it] does not appear to me that anybody
passed a polygraph during this case.
Why have him testify in the hope he'll tell the truth?
Because I didn't know that he was not telling the truth.
But the polygraph showed deception.
And then the polygraph examiner told me that she didn't necessarily attach any
credibility or credence to the validity of that exam.
You don't care if he lies or doesn't.
I disagree with that. Polygraph exam is merely an investigative tool. I'm not a
believer in absolute infallibility of polygraph exams at all. That's why
they're not admissible into evidence in this state or in most states.
Why do it?
As I said, it can be a valuable investigative tool, and that's all it is.
Why did you offer him a plea?
I certainly think I could have prosecuted the case successfully without him.
[But] there are a couple of reasons I wanted to use him. First is that I did
not have any physical evidence directly tying Garner to the crime, as I did
with Henderson. I did not, for example, have a fingerprint.
And second, Henderson's confession implicating Garner would have been
inadmissible at Garner's trial, because it's hearsay, including Henderson's
statement to detective Barber that Terence's street name was Dukeboy. The jury
in all likelihood would not have been allowed to hear that evidence, because it
was hearsay. So I felt that it was important to have evidence to corroborate
the identification of Garner by Alice Wise and Charles Woodard.
What was the deal?
If my memory is correct... My memory is that we agreed, in exchange for
Riddick's truthful testimony -- and please understand the agreement was an
exchange for his truthful testimony -- to allow him to plead guilty to two
counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to commit
armed robbery. I believe that was the agreement. It may have been the other
What if he had said it wasn't Garner?
It certainly would have thrown a monkey wrench in the case had he testified to
that. But based on the information that he provided to us, I did not anticipate
he was going to testify to that.
What did you expect him to testify?
Based on the statement that he provided to law enforcement following the
negotiation of the plea agreement with his defense lawyer, we expected that he
would testify that the perpetrators of the crime along with him, of course,
were Henderson and Garner.
That was understood?
I certainly anticipated that was going to be his testimony when he took the
He understood that?
He understood what?
That this was what you expected?
I'm quite confident that his lawyer told him that we expected him to testify
truthfully. And I am quite confident his lawyer told him he would be subjected
to very rigorous cross-examination, and that if he was not testifying
truthfully, there was a significant chance that he'd be caught.
You knew he would testify against Garner?
We approached Mr. Denning with a negotiated plea offer. Up until that point,
Riddick had not made any statements to law enforcement officers. He had
exercised his right to remain silent at the time of his arrest, and I let
Riddick's lawyer know that we were willing to allow his client to plead guilty
to the lesser charges in exchange for his truthful testimony. ...
You met Riddick before?
That's correct. I did talk with him before the trial.
Did you think he was truthful?
He certainly struck me as being truthful, yes.
Did you know he had a cousin?
No. We did not know before trial that Riddick had a cousin named Terrance.
What if Riddick said you did know...?
If Riddick said that I knew before trial that he had a cousin named Terrance,
then Riddick would be sadly mistaken.
Because you didn't know?
I did not know it.
You could have checked if he had a cousin named Terrance.
I don't know necessarily that [it's] easy to confirm the name of every cousin
that a suspect in a case may have. I disagree with that assertion. ... With all
due respect, I think you are being naïve. It's neither practical nor
routine for law enforcement officers to check every single detail of a
suspect's statement in an effort to corroborate that. You know the significant
thing to us is that Riddick's statement was consistent with everything we did
know about the commission of the crime itself.
You didn't know he lied or had a cousin?
I was aware of the polygraph exam results, yes. I also was aware that the
polygraph examiner told me herself that she would not attach a great deal of
validity to those results. ... I did not know that Riddick had a cousin named
Terrance before the trial. I did not know that fact until after the trial.
Could other police detectives know?
I don't think that's possible. I feel quite confident that the officers would
have shared that information with me had they known that.
And if he had a cousin?
I feel quite confident that the other officers on the case would have shared
with me any information they may have had that Riddick had a cousin named
Terrance. And no officer ever told me that.
When did you learn that?
No, no, no. That was learned after the trial, following Henderson's statement
to the Wayne County officers, several days after the trial.
Doesn't that make you wonder about the rest of his testimony?
You know, everything else that Riddick testified to in the trial is consistent
with all the other evidence in the case. You know why he may have told that one
lie? I don't know.
Why shouldn't he lie?
Well, actually at that point, his deal was struck. Had he testified that the
perpetrator, the gunman in the case was his cousin Terrance Deloach, and had we
been able to demonstrate that that was the case, I think the state would have
been bound by its deal. His deal was to testify truthfully.
You know snitches tell what you want.
Excuse me for interrupting. I disagree with that. You know, it's my interest
and my goal in the case to get to the truth. It is not my goal in any case,
including this case, to convict a particular person. I wanted to know the truth
in advance of trial, and I wanted to know the truth after the trial. That was
the reason we conducted such an extensive investigation into this case
following the conviction. And that's the reason we've opened our files up to
the defense in this case -- both his trial lawyers and his post-conviction
lawyers -- because we understand it is our ethical duty to get to the truth in
the case, not to convict a particular person.
Shouldn't that happen before trial?
You're asking me to read Riddick's mind, which I cannot do; I'm not going to
do. Riddick's negotiated plea was to testify truthfully in the case, and that
He could testify for Garner.
Had he testified for Garner, as I said a moment ago, that certainly may have
thrown a wrench into the state's case. But yes, I believe the state would have
been bound by the deal, assuming that his testimony for Garner had been the
So he would have been the liar?
Well, what you would have done in that case would have been to have a
determination as to whether or not his testimony was in fact truthful, and that
determination generally is made by the presiding judge.
Riddick knew who the jury would believe?
I cannot speculate as to what the jury would have done had that been Riddick's
testimony during the trial; that is, had Riddick testified during the trial
that Terence Garner was not the perpetrator. I cannot and I am not going
to speculate as to what the jury's verdict would have been in that situation.
Who do you believe?
I really can't answer that question, because that didn't happen. And had I been
confronted with that sort of testimony during the trial, I'm not sure what the
state's response would have been.
What happened with Terrance Deloach?
Johnston County authorities were notified that Wayne County authorities were
interviewing an individual in the Wayne County Sheriff's Department by the name
of Terrance Deloach, who was telling them that he was the gunman in this case.
And Johnston County authorities went over there. In fact, I accompanied them.
By the time we got over there, the interview was near completion. They came out
with this statement which they had taken from Deloach, in which Deloach
claimed that he was the gunman.
They were led to Deloach by Henderson when Henderson was returned to Wayne
County following Garner's trial to face some charges there. He'd contacted a
detective by the name of Bobby Brasswell, told Bobby Brasswell that Johnston
County had convicted the wrong man and he wanted to provide Brasswell some
You had a press conference?
Yes. Later that day.Obviously, we were stunned by that development,
and later that day I did hold a press conference. In retrospect, I think I held
it prematurely. But I disclosed publicly the information that we had received:
that this other Terrance, Terrance Deloach, had confessed to the crime and
claimed that he was the gunman. And if I recall correctly, I stated there in
the press conference that we expected that we would join in with the
defendant's motion for a new trial; or alternatively, we would join in with the
defendant's motion to release the defendant Garner on bond pending further
investigation into the case.Following the press conference, later that same day, Deloach was brought over
to Johnston County. He was interviewed by Johnston County detectives and by
State Bureau of Investigation agents, and at that time, his statement fell
apart. It didn't hold water. It was not consistent with the other known
evidence in the case.
What was Deloach's alibi?
I don't remember Deloach ever offering an alibi.
Why not? He knew a lot.
An alibi would suggest that he was not there. His statement tended to place him
there. I don't understand that question, because he did not offer an alibi.
Why not check him out?
His purported confession simply did not hold water. It was totally wrong as to
so many details as to what occurred inside the Quality Finance. It just didn't
make sense. ... Deloach seemed to have a pretty good understanding as to what
may have occurred up until the time that they arrived at the Quality Finance.
From that point on, his statement was totally incorrect. ...
Maybe you should reexamine the theory.
Well, ma'am, it was not our theory. We knew what had occurred inside the
Quality Finance Company. We knew because of the testimony of Bertha Miller, not
withstanding her state of fright and hysteria during the commission of the
robbery. We knew what had occurred because of the testimony of Charles Woodard,
and we knew what had occurred inside that business because of the testimony of
Now, the Goldsboro officers, the Wayne County officers, when conducting the
interview of Terrance Deloach, did not know what had occurred. Frankly, in my
opinion, [they] should not have been attempting to conduct the interview
anyway. But that was water under the bridge. They already had done it.And if you go back and look at his statement, it does not contain a lot
of detail as to what had occurred inside the business itself. When Deloach was
brought back over to Johnston County, and later that night he was sat down and
interviewed by the Johnston County officers and the State Bureau of
Investigation agents who were armed with the knowledge of what had occurred
inside the business, Deloach's statement simply did not hold water. I maintain
he couldn't describe what happened inside, because he was not inside. He didn't
Why shouldn't Wayne County interview him?
Because it was not their case, and they didn't know really anything about it. I
think the more appropriate course of action would have been for them to have
contacted the Johnston County officers and SBI agents and invited them to come
over to Wayne County to talk with Deloach.
Why do you think Deloach confessed?
It was pretty obvious based on all the information we developed later that this
was a very intense interrogation, and that the officers threatened Deloach
during the course of the interview. They threatened, for example, to take away
his baby, or to have the baby that belonged to Kim removed by the Department of
Social Services. They made some representations to him that were not true. They
told him that both Henderson and Riddick had now identified him as the
perpetrator, and that was not true. It is also entirely conceivable, based on
what Deloach has later claimed, that they told him that Charles Woodard and
Alice Wise had in fact positively identified him as the perpetrator. ...
What are your views on the theory of four people being involved in the
The four-perpetrator theory is very interesting. That was first offered really
by Riddick post-trial, when he contacted law enforcement officers and said he
wanted to tell them what had happened and he told them that all four were
involved -- both Terences and Henderson and himself, and that Terence Garner,
though, was the Terence who had entered the premises with Henderson.The four-perpetrator theory -- and it is just that, a theory -- makes sense. It
does explain a lot of things in the case. It explains, for example, how
Terrance Deloach could have known everything with a fair amount of detail up
until the time that the perpetrators entered the Quality Finance office, but
knew nothing about what happened after that.The four-perpetrator theory is intriguing. The only difficulty with it is,
there's really no evidence to support it, other than Riddick's statement
suggesting there were four perpetrators, a statement which he later recanted;
except that, at the time that he entered his plea if I recall correctly, when
questioned by the court, Riddick again maintained that there were in fact four
The judge believed that?
It appeared that the court believed that there were quite possibly four
Why was Deloach let go?
What evidence would we have against him at that point? I just don't think we
would have sufficient evidence to convict him. The testimony of Henderson and
Riddick who have given inconsistent statements by that time, the testimony of
Garner, who testified that he was not there at all, or the testimony of Alice
Wise and Charles Woodard, who never saw him and in fact who have seen him since
the trial and have both emphatically said that Deloach was not the gunman. I
simply would not have sufficient evidence to prosecute Deloach for his
involvement in this case, if we assumed there were four perpetrators and he was
the fourth perpetrator.
You had his confession, which fit beautifully.
The law of this state is that a person cannot be convicted on the basis of a
confession alone. There must be additional evidence to corroborate the
evidence, the corpus delicti.
A confession and Riddick?
But surely it would not have been prudent to put Riddick on the stand at that
point, after giving any number of inconsistent statements. And it would not
have been prudent to put Henderson on at that point after he had given any
number of inconsistent statements. It would not be plausible at all to put
those individuals on at a trial of Deloach.
But Deloach was let go scot-free.
I've never said that I believed that there were four perpetrators. I've simply
said that is a theory which made sense. Also, I've quickly added, that there is
no credible evidence to support that theory. Certainly there is not enough
evidence, in my opinion, for me to go before a jury and ask them to convict
Why not give Garner a new trial?
All the things about which you have asked me today have been aired in open
court. They have been considered by a judge and a motion for appropriate
relief. They have been considered by the appellate court of this state, which
reviewed the case. And all the courts have agreed that the information which
came forth after the trial was not sufficient reason to give Garner a new
trial.We don't just willy-nilly give defendants a new trial just because some witness
later changes his story, or even because some person later comes forward and
says, "Hey, I was the one who committed the crime." Once we subjected all this
so-called additional evidence to rigorous tests of scrutiny, it simply didn't
hold up. The public -- and certainly the victims of a crime -- are entitled to
some finality in the proceedings. ...
Are you disturbed about Terence Garner?
I was satisfied, and I remain satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt that Garner
is in fact guilty of these crimes. Please understand that that is the burden of
proof upon the prosecution in this case and in every criminal case tried
anywhere in this country -- that is, it is the prosecution's burden to prove
the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Not beyond all doubt,
because that is a burden that would be impossible for the prosecution to meet
in almost every case. ...
Is it necessarily the end of story?
If you're asking me to make a broad sweeping statement that innocent people are
never convicted, I certainly am not so foolish. Clearly, throughout the course
of history, innocent people have been convicted. That is why we have a
post-conviction process in this state. That is why defendants are allowed to
later raise claims and are allowed to attempt to set aside their convictions
based upon newly discovered evidence, based upon new scientific procedures such
as DNA. Those procedures are in place, and they remain available to Terence
Garner to this day.
Nothing merits another trial?
Those claims have all been considered, and they have been rejected by both the
trial court and the appellate court. I believe that the trial court and the
appellate court were correct in their decisions, because the so-called
confession of Deloach just didn't withstand scrutiny -- didn't hold up.
Henderson has lied throughout the proceedings, so we really just can not attach
any credibility, I submit, to what he says.And Bertha Miller has never been able to identify any of the perpetrators or to
exclude any person as being a perpetrator. She admitted freely during the trial
that she was hysterical during these proceedings, and both Woodard and Alice
Wise said that she was hysterical. So unfortunately, we just can't use Bertha
Miller in an effort to either identify or exclude anybody as a perpetrator.One other point I want to make about the identification of Garner by both
Woodard and Alice Wise -- and please remember they made independent
identifications of Garner -- is that we are not talking about a crime which
happened in a matter of seconds. Rather, we're talking about a crime that took
anywhere from 10 or 15 minutes or so to commit. So both of these witnesses have
more than ample opportunity to study the features of the perpetrators, and to
burn their observations into the recesses of their memory.
Moreover, Alice Wise testified and Charles Woodard testified that Alice Wise
was extremely calm throughout the commission of the crime. She kept her wits
about her. She was trying to calm Bertha Miller down, for example. This was not
an identification made by a frightened hysterical witness, based upon a 10- or
15-second observation of the defendant. Rather, it was an identification made
by a witness who certainly may have been frightened, but also remained as calm,
certainly more calm than most people would have. And it was an
identification made after a very lengthy observation of the perpetrators.
Another thing that to me is significant in this case... I don't know if you've
seen both Garner and Deloach. But both Alice Wise and Charles Woodard have seen
both of the individuals, and both are emphatic that not only is Garner the
perpetrator, but they have said that they are absolutely positive that Deloach
was not the gunman.I also have seen both of them, and those two individuals do not look very much
alike. Deloach is much darker than Garner. He's much bigger than Garner. Their
facial features are different. I just do not see how these two individuals
independently would be mistaken about this identification, based on the
appearances of those two individuals.
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