EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — A father of one of the women killed by Michael Madison attacked the serial killer during sentencing Thursday afternoon.
When Van Terry, father of Shirellda Terry, came up, he said, “I guess we are supposed to find it in our hearts to forgive this clown … who has taken my child,” then he turned around, and jumped on Madison. Authorities and other people inside the courtroom grabbed Terry and took him out.
Van Terry’s sister told WJW reporter Suzanne Stratford that Van just couldn’t take it anymore. Family members said Madison was taunting the families and smiling.
In court, prosecutors told the jury that Shirellda Terry was killed with a sword and that her injuries were the worst they had ever seen.
“I was thinking about how you mutilated my child, how you cut my child. And you did all this while my child was still alive, so you caused my baby great pain,” Van Terry told WJW.
The judge followed a jury’s recommendation that Madison should be executed for aggravated murder and kidnapping. The judge could have chosen life in prison with no chance of parole.
A jury convicted Madison last month, then deliberated for less than a day before recommending the death penalty.
Madison, who has said he admired serial killer Anthony Sowell, killed Shirellda Terry, Angela Deskins and Shetisha Sheely. Their bodies were found in plastic bags near Madison’s East Cleveland home in 2013.
During his trial, Madison’s lawyers did not argue that he didn’t kill the women, only that their deaths weren’t premeditated. They were trying to spare him the death penalty.
Terry was escorted out of the courtroom and prosecutors are considering whether to file charges against him.
“I call it a father feeling his pain and if I did get charged, I’m alright with that ’cause I did what I thought was right,” he said.