RICHBURG, S.C. – It is not the type of neighborhood where police would come to investigate one crime and wind up investigating two, but that’s the story in Chester County.
Last Monday night the Chester County Sheriff’s Department received a call about the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl. Deputies said they were told the possible suspect’s name and that he lured the teen into the nearby woods and assaulted her.
The victim’s mother said the man, Michael Jermaine Terry, had walked down the road after the incident. When deputies arrived at the house and then went looking for Terry they found his lifeless body on the side of the road.
“We’re shocked. We never thought there would be a rape and murder right down the street from us. It’s just unheard of around here,” said resident Paul Laffredo. “What kind of man rapes a 16-year-old girl? Got to be some sickness there or something.”
The Chester County Coroner’s office said Terry sustained two gunshot wounds from close range and died of those wounds. The wounds were to the front of his body.
NewsChannel 36 does not identify the victims of rapes or sexual assaults.
Other folks said while they don’t like the fact that someone took a man’s life, they are more upset about the “innocent teen.”
One man who did not want to say his name said he feels “justice was done.” He said that Terry, who lived in Lancaster, “Got what he deserved.”
Sheriff Richard Smith acknowledges that the circumstances of the case seem to make it harder for witnesses to step forward. But Smith said that the investigation continues.
“We got a job to do. We’re investigating this case like any other case. Hopefully we find out who did it,” said Sheriff Smith.
“I’m caught between a rock and a hard place there. You rape a 16-year-old girl. You get what you got coming to you, but then again nobody has the right to take the law into your own hands,” Laffredo said.