LIMA — Seating a jury in the first trial of 2021 in Allen County Common Pleas Court was an all-day affair on Tuesday.
The 12-member jury and two alternates were finally selected by late afternoon in the trial of Terrez Carter, the Lima man facing multiple drug trafficking, rape and kidnapping charges who could — if convicted — face what amounts to a sentence of life in prison.
Carter, 48, faces a total of six counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of possession of cocaine and three counts of having weapons under disability. The bulk of the charges are first-degree felonies, five of which include specifications for the use of a firearm during the commission of the crimes.
Judge Jeffrey Reed opted to send the jurors home around 3:30 p.m. after what had already been a long day. Opening statements from lawyers in the case are to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Carter is represented by Attorney Dustin Blake, while Assistant Allen County Prosecutors Anthony Miller and Rebecca King-Newman are representing the state.
Carter was indicted in July of 2018 in connection with an alleged rape that occurred around April 19 of that year at a residence at 717 N. Metcalf St. Three additional rape charges, also first-degree felonies, were filed against Carter for alleged incidents that took place in 2015. The alleged rape victim in the 2018 case was different from the victim in the 2015 case, officials said.
Carter’s trial begins almost six years after police and prosecutors allege he raped a woman during the summer of 2015.
Evidence in the case, according to a defense motion filed by Blake, includes a video of the alleged 2015 rape that was found by police on an SC card inside a camera in Carter’s bedroom during the execution of a search warrant at the Lima man’s residence. The card contains three videos which the defense attorney alleges are “irrelevant, prejudicial and have no probative value.”
The videos allegedly show one of the rape victims, but according to Blake do not show evidence of sexual activity or the restraint of liberty of the alleged victim. The victim states on the video only that she does not want to be filmed, not that she did not wish to engage in sex with Carter, Blake said in his motion.
The judge, outside the presence of jurors on Tuesday, said he would view the video in question and issue a ruling prior to the start of Wednesday’s proceedings on its admissibility as evidence at trial.