Coalition For Terence Garner Urges D.A. To Avoid Second Trial, Throw Out Charges
Posted February 12, 2002 11:27 a.m. EST
GOLDSBORO, NC — A coalition supporting Terence Garner says he should be fully exonerated of the 1997 crime for which he served nearly five years in prison.
At a press conference at Goldsboro's Green Leaf Christian Church, Garner appeared alongside supporters, who are hoping for more now that Garner has been released from prison on bond awaiting a second trial.
"We want him to be fully exonerated because, because of the good work of the Wayne County Sheriff's Department," said Rev. J.B. Woodhouse, co-chairman of the Terence Garner Coalition for Justice. "They got a clear-cut confession from Terrance Deloach. And we see no reason why he should not be a free man and fully exonerated."
"I'm sure that once it's presented, there will be nobody's doubt as it is in my mind that we have an innocent man that was prosecuted," said Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders.
Alice Wise, who was shot in the 1997 crime, maintains that Garner was the gunman. She said she welcomes a new trial.
"It's going to surface everything all over again. I know that, but like I said if that's what it takes, I'm ready to do it. I want to do it," she said.
"We feel that Mrs. Wise feels that way and she's entitled to believe that," Woodhouse says. "But being a member of the coalition, we definitely feel otherwise. We do not agree with that ... We pray for Mrs. Wise daily."
District Attorney Tom Lock is still deciding whether Garner will be tried again.
Garner's coalition of supporters hopes there will be no second trial. They also hope to work with the DA to prevent similar injustices from happening in the future.
"We're going to talk with him and see how we can avoid these kinds of things in the future," Woodhouse said.
Garner said he plans to continue undergraduate studies he started in prison and on Friday, Wayne Community College offered him financial aid.
Deloach is now serving prison time in New York, and most legal analysts doubt he could ever be tried for this case because of the way the first trial was handled.