Crime

Victim's Father Lunges At Murderer In Court (Video)

| by Sheena Vasani
The victimsThe victims

The Ohio father of a woman murdered by a serial killer lunged at him in court on June 2 (video below).

A smirking Michael Madison, 38, had just been given the death sentence when Van Terry -- father of the deceased 18-year-old Shirellda Terry -- tried to grab at the man, the New York Daily News reports.

"How are you doing, your honor, my name is Van Terry, father of Shirellda Terry," he said at a podium during the hearing. "Right now, I guess we're supposed to, in our hearts, forgive this clown."

"He touched our families, taking my town …,” the father continued, before trailing off and throwing himself at Madison when officers subdued and restrained the man.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

Family members later explained a smiling Madison had been taunting the victims' family members during the hearing.

Madison, a convicted sex offender, killed Terry’s teenage daughter and dumped the body in trash bags near his apartment. He also killed and disposed of two other women’s bodies in the same manner.

A passerby would later complain of the stench the corpses exuded in July 2013 and police later arrested the man.

Lawyers for Madison insinuated the man was mentally unstable, having been traumatized from an abusive stepfather and a drug-addicted mother, ABC News reports.

While they never contested his guilt, his attorneys hoped to at least save his life by providing details of his background.

"This history of abuse and his dysfunctional upbringing certainly doesn't excuse what happened here but certainly provides a basis for understanding the type of person Michael Madison evolved into," defense attorney David Grant told the judge.

Yet prosecutors won the trial.

"[A death sentence] will send a message to the community that the strongest possible sentence will be imposed upon crimes of this nature," Christopher Schroeder, a Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor, said.

Relatives of other victims, meanwhile, believed there was no childhood story that could redeem the man.

"Nothing anyone can say or do can make it better for him," Linda Deskins, relative of victim Angela Deskins, said.

 

Sources: New York Daily NewsABC News / Photo credit:  HANDOUT/New York Daily News

 

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