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Hearing set for murder suspect

A competency hearing for capital murder suspect James Lloyd Terry has been set for a day in July in Halifax County Circuit Court.

Special Prosecutor Petra Haskins said Monday the competency hearing would probably last two days, with the first day scheduled for July 15.

Another day is expected be set for August to hear further testimony in the competency hearing, the special prosecutor added.

Three days were set aside last week for motions hearings in the case, which is set to go to trial in September.

A hearing in Halifax County Circuit Court in April revealed that Central State evaluators had sent a report detailing their examination of Terry.

Terry had been held at Central State since last October, when Halifax County Circuit Court Judge Joel Cunningham ruled Terry incompetent to stand trial in the April 2011 murder of 84-year-old Charlotte Osborne Rice.

The court asked Central State to do the restoration, because the court declared Terry incompetent to stand trial.

Motions hearings in court last week regarded which experts would be able to testify and the scope of their testimony, according to court records.

At that time, Cunningham ordered the appropriate state agency to take charge of Terry in an effort to restore the defendant’s competency to stand trial.

Terry, a Halifax resident, is facing seven charges in connection with the death of 84-year-old Rice, according to court records, including two for capital murder during rape, two for object sexual penetration, and one each for capital murder in the commission of robbery, burglary and robbery.

Terry was arrested after the body of Rice was discovered in her North Main Street home when authorities responded to a report of a possible breaking and entering.

Acting on a 911 call from a neighbor, police arrived at Rice’s residence where they apprehended Terry following a foot pursuit through yards adjacent to Rice’s house. 

Terry, a registered sex offender, could face the death penalty if convicted of capital charges.