Father reveals why he lunged at daughter's killer in Ohio courtroom
'I was thinking how he mutilated my child, cut my child'
A father who lunged at the convicted killer of his daughter in a courtroom did it because the murderer smirked at him, he has explained Van Terry said he “wanted” Michael Madison - who killed his daughter, Shirellda Terry, 18, in Cleveland in 2013 - after he appeared to taunt him at the hearing.
Mr Terry maintained that his actions were the right thing to do, local broadcaster Fox 8 reported.
"He looked at me and smiled," Mr Terry told the broadcaster. "I thought that was so disrespectful."
Mr Terry had been reading out a statement in court after Madison was sentenced to death for three murders, including that of his daughter, and of Angela Deskins, 38, and Shetisha Sheely, 28. It was the first death sentence the presiding judge had ever passed, according to local media.
The family was present throughout the trial, which displayed evidence against Madison and went into graphic detail about the nature of his crimes.
"I was thinking how he mutilated my child, cut my child,” Mr Terry said. “You [Madison] did all this while my child was still alive, so you caused my baby great pain.
"I don`t know if I thought about leaping or what have you, I just know I wanted him."
Madison allegedly smirked during Mr Terry’s heartfelt speech to the court about the loss of his child.
"I guess we're supposed to, in our hearts, forgive this clown, who has touched our families, taken my child,” Mr Terry had said, immediately before rushing at the killer.
Sonya Richardson, Mr Terry’s sister, spoke in defence of his actions.
"He was upset. He's telling you that he lost his baby, that's a slice of his heaven, and (Madison) is sitting over there smiling," she told Cleveland.com. "It's like, enough."
Video footage showed Mr Terry rushing towards Madison and attempting to attack him, but courtroom deputies intervene and hold him back.
Prosecutors are reviewing the footage to decide if Mr Terry will be charged with an offence. Mr Terry has accepted the possibility of charges and maintained his actions were correct.
Independent News Service