Monday, Jul 28th

Last updateMon, 28 Jul 2014 7am

You are here: Home News Crime Judge expected to rule on capital murder motion

Judge expected to rule on capital murder motion

Halifax County Circuit Court Judge Joel Cunningham may rule today on a defense motion to dismiss the capital murder charge against James Lloyd Terry.

Terry, of Halifax, is accused of capital murder and rape related to the April 2011 death of 84-year-old Charlotte Osborne Rice.

In an earlier motions hearing, lawyers from Terry’s capital defense team argued the capital charge should be dropped because the state’s sentencing standards are arbitrary and capricious.

Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Kim White vigorously opposed the defendant’s motion to dismiss the capital charge against Terry.

“This capital defense argument has been repeatedly raised and rejected by the Virginia State Court, although defense counsel neglects to cite those cases in [its] motion,” White said in her response in court during that earlier motions hearing.

Cunningham took the motion under advisement and is expected to rule on that and several other motions today.

Terry was arrested on the murder charge in April 2011 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 to police from Taylor, police arrived at the North Main Street residence where they apprehended Terry following a foot pursuit through yards neighboring Rice’s house.

Terry, a registered sex offender, has been held without bond since the time of his arrest.

No trial date has been set, and Terry could face the death penalty if convicted.