The father of a teenage girl murdered by convicted sex offender Michael Madison had trouble — understandably — keeping his emotions in check in court on Thursday.
Van Terry, the father of 18-year-old victim Shirelda Terry, jumped over a table to attack the serial killer, who was sentenced to the death penalty for murdering three women in July 2013. Terry lunged at Madison, who responded by laughing in his face as courtroom officials struggled to wrestle and restrain the grieving and enraged father.
Madison was convicted for killing Terry, Angela Deskins, 38, and Shetisha Sheele, 28, whose bodies were found wrapped in garbage bags in an East Cleveland apartment building in 2013. The bodies were discovered when a cable worker reported a foul smell coming from a garage shared by Madison at the building. Madison had admitted to the crimes, saying he had strangled two of the women but could not remember killing the third.
Madison was also convicted last month of multiple counts of aggravated murder and kidnapping.
Madison's execution is likely years away because of lengthy appeals. Ohio also lacks supplies of lethal drugs.
Madison's legal team never fought for their client’s freedom and instead focused on saving his life. They presented evidence to the court that Madison had been the victim of lasting psychological damage from physical abuse as a child.
They provided testimony that Madison had been abused by his drug-addicted mother, his stepfather, some of his mother's boyfriends and other family members. "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 in his closing statements.
The prosecution simply argued that because of the circumstances of the killings, Madison deserved the death penalty.
The Ohio Supreme Court is now considering whether or not to uphold Madison's conviction and sentence.
(Photo: AP Photo/David Richard)