During a sentencing hearing for East Cleveland serial killer Michael Madison, Van Terry took the stand to speak to the man who tortured and murdered his 18-year old daughter Shirellda Terry. “Right now, I guess we’re supposed to, in our hearts forgive this clown, who has touched our families, taken my child,” he said, turning toward Madison. Then the killer grinned. Terry lunged across the room and lunged at the face of the man who had killed his daughter, Cleveland.com reports.
“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,” said Terry’s sister Sonya Richardson, the aunt of the victim. “It’s like, enough.”
Madison was sentenced to death for the torture and murder of 18-year old Shirellda Terry, 28-year old Shetisha Sheeley, and 38-year old Angela Deskins. In 2013, their mutilated bodies were found decomposing near where Madison lived. Madison was classified as a sex offender in 2002 when he was convicted of attempted rape.
Madison’s lawyers argued his behavior was created by his abusive and chaotic childhood, but the jury and judge were not swayed. Judge Nancy R. McDonnell, who has never issued the death sentence in more than 20 years on the bench, said she was “struck by the sheer inhumanity of what one human being can do to not one, but three human beings.”
Prosecutors are still deciding whether to charge Van Terry with a crime.