| My 19 month old daughter,
Tennille, was raped and strangled to death on March 21, 1983. My
ex (was my husband at the time), Terry, was arrested the night it happened,
and charged with "murder during the commission of a rape". On March
30th, I turned myself in as a warrant was issued for my arrest due to a
conflicting statement. My statements were all the same, except in
one I said that we left my parents home around 3:30pm and in the other
I said we left around 4:30, which is the correct time.
It was my parents' anniversary, and I wanted to spend some time with my mom on that day. We (my husband, 2 daughters, and me) arrived home at our apartment, that we moved into the first of the month. Three biological sisters lived in the other 3 apartments, and they testified at my trial. Their statements made my husband look bad, saying that he did nothing for my baby when one of them called a rescue squad for her, not breathing.
Well, one of the sisters said that
she passed me on the stairs at 5:55, which is later than when I said that
I left the apartment to go to the store. I left the first time around
5:20, but it was cold out and the sidewalks were well covered with snow.
(I was walking as our car was not running)
My husband, after a few minutes, said for me not to wait, and go ahead and go get him some cigarettes. I didn't think about it at the time, but when I look back it is obvious that he wanted me out of the apartment. I left the second time about 5:40, and met no one on the stairs, or leaving the apartment.
The sisters testified that Terry was leaning against the TV biting his nails and that when he changed her diapers, he changed it faster than they had ever seen a diaper changed before. Even the paramedics said that his behavior was weird.
When my daughter was rushed to the E.R. she was listed in Cardiac Arrest. She was pronounced dead at 7:55pm. The doctor said she noticed tearing to Tennille's rectum, and used 3 rape kits. She testified at trial that the toy gun that was removed from the apartment fit the diameter of the damage. But the coroner testified that the damage was more likely caused by a finger.
Upon getting to the E.R., the nurse took pulse, B.P. and temp, but forgot to write the temp down, re-took it about 26 minutes later, and that is the temp that the coroner went by to determine the time of death. She said as early as 3:30pm, but no later than 5:00pm.
All the people that testified contradicted the person before them. The 3 sisters gave statements to the detectives before trial and my lawyer asked them, while they were on the stand, which was the truth- what they said on statements to detectives, or what they are saying in court.
The only evidence they had against me was Ethel Jones. She said that while in the Count Jail with her that I confessed to her that I did it. I was arrested March 30th, and she gave a statement to detectives on April 15th, said that my confession took place over a period of 5-6 days. I was in isolation and not allowed to be out with anyone else. It was like this my first 8-9 days in jail. She said that she was the only one allowed in the ladies TV room with me, and turned up the TV so the guards could not hear me. First of all, if she did turn up the TV loud, the guards would have come back and told her to turn it down. Secondly, I was never alone with her in the TV room.
I have signed affidavits from women who Ethel told, that she lied against me in exchange for her charges and money. Ethel gave her statement to detectives, (I have a copy) and it is different from what she said at trial.
At my trial I was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of involuntary manslaughter and felonious sexual penetration. I got 7-25 years running consecutive with life. I lost my 3 other children. My sons were put up for adoption, I have not seen them since 1983. I have been locked up for 17 years now. I have been trying for 16 years to get my case back in court, I have the evidence, but not the lawyer.
I would appreciate any help that you could give me. Thank you for reading this.
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