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Commonwealth attorney’s office moves to recuse itself from murder case

The Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office has filed a motion in Halifax County Circuit Court to recuse itself from the James Lloyd Terry capital murder case.

Acting Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Freshour filed a motion in Halifax County Circuit Court on Aug. 17 asking the court to recuse his office from the case and appoint a special prosecutor.

Freshour said Friday he represented Terry on a felony charge over 10 years ago.

“The Virginia State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct prevent me from prosecuting the Terry matter as I represented Mr. Terry on a felony over ten years ago,” Freshour said Friday.

“As such, I filed a motion with the Circuit Court to appoint a Special Prosecutor.

“The Circuit Court will appoint qualified prosecutor who will prosecute Mr. Terry on behalf of the commonwealth.”

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

Terry was arrested on the murder charge 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 and could face the death penalty if convicted. 

Richmond attorney David Baugh is representing Terry in the capital murder and rape case, and Halifax attorney Jeffrey Fox is representing Terry in the defendant’s upcoming sentencing for two counts of failing to register as a sex offender, according to Freshour’s motion.

Up until Aug.16, Kim White was prosecuting the case as Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, but she was recently appointed as a Circuit Court Judge for the Tenth Judicial District, with Freshour subsequently sworn in as Acting Commonwealth’s Attorney.

According to his motion, Freshour, in 2001-2002, represented Terry on a malicious wounding charge that ended with a conviction for unlawful wounding.