Second Johnston Co. Teen Now Says His Confession Not True
Posted January 28, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
SMITHFIELD — It's an amazing story -- one that's almost too hard to believe. A Goldsboro teenager, who was sentenced to more than 32 years in prison this week, may now go free, because a second man, with the same first name, confessed to the crime Wednesday. Thursday, he tried to retract his confession.
Terence Garner of Goldsboro and two other men stood accused of a brutal holdup at a Princeton finance company last April. The people inside the business were bound and gagged, one was even shot in the head and left for dead.
A jury found the 17-year-old Garner guilty of being the triggerman, sentencing him to at least 32 years in prison. All along, he insisted he was innocent. And, today one of the other two men involved in the crime gave detectives new information that helped them realize that they should have arrested another guy named Terence.
Johnston County Prosecutor Tom Locke says the court system is trying to determine just what did happen.
Because of the latest development, Garner is still in jail. The earliest he might be released is Thursday, after another court hearing concerning evidence and new developments.
Detectives arrested Terence DeLoatch after his confession and charged him with attempted murder.
Richard Riddick, the other man accused if the robbery, had reached a plea agreement and fingered Garner as the triggerman. Garner was also positively identified by Alice Wise, the Quality Finance employee who was shot, plus another person at the scene.
Johnston County Sheriff, Freddy Narron, says that Wise still sticks to her story.
Garner's mother, Linda Chambers, says she already knows what's she's going to tell him when she sees him.
Chambers told WRAL-TV5's Len Besthoff she and her family won't believe Garner's free until a judge gives him the thumbs up.
Garner and his attorney will be in court Friday to work for his release. He's already been in prison for eight months. His family won't comment on whether it plans to take any legal action against Johnston County.
Garner's family and friends say they are confident he will be released, and convinced of his innocence.