LIMA — It wasn’t a unanimous verdict, but it was close.
After deliberating for less than four hours, jurors in the trial of Terrez Carter returned a mixed verdict Friday shortly after 8 p.m., delivering guilty verdicts on nine of the 10 felony counts against the Lima man.
The jurors found Carter guilty of five of the six counts of rape filed against him, felonies of the first degree, along with two first-degree felony counts of kidnapping and single counts of possession of cocaine and having a weapon under disability.
Carter, 48, showed little emotion when the verdicts were read, putting his head in his hands briefly and then staring blankly into the distance. He will be sentenced at a later date.
After the state wrapped up its presentation Friday morning, the defense put on its case with testimony from three friends of the defendant, all of whom said that one of the alleged victims in the case made up her story about being raped by Carter because she was angry that he had called police after she rammed his car with hers in a jealous fit of rage.
Prentis Jones said he reached out to one of the victims after Carter was arrested “and asked what was going on. She told me about the allegation that he (Carter) had raped this one woman — whom I didn’t know — and that he also raped her (the other alleged victim). She said she was mad because he called the police on her,” Jones testified.
“I said ‘that’s B.S., why are you doing this?’” Jones said under cross-examination from Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Anthony Miller.
“You didn’t believe her?” Miller asked.
“That’s correct,” Smith testified.
A similar story was told from the stand by Ronald Dillingham, another of Carter’s longtime friends. He described the alleged victim as a drug user who was a “jealous person” who often got angry when she thought Carter was seeing other women.
Defense Attorney Dustin Blake asked Dillingham if he had spoken with the woman about the case.
“Yes, and she said she lied. She said she was angry with Terrez,” Dillingham replied.
The Lima News does not identify alleged victims of sexual crimes unless they specifically request to be named.
Immediately before heading off to deliberate, jurors heard closing statements from the attorneys in the case. As expected, the versions presented by prosecutors and the defense attorney varied greatly.
Blake said the state’s witnesses, in particular the two women who claimed to have been raped by Carter, were not credible and “had a motive to fabricate allegations” against the defendant.
Blake said both women lied to jurors. One of the women “was caught in a lie on the (witness) stand” when she testified about prior drug use, and the other lied about never having talked about sex with Carter and about keeping their relationship a secret, Blake said.
“She lied under oath and had no problem doing it,” the defense attorney said of the alleged victim of a 2015 rape.
In the final analysis, jurors did find the women to be credible witnesses.
Miller vigorously defended the state’s witnesses but did admit one of the women falsely claimed from the witness stand that she had not used drugs in six months.
“But that has nothing to do with what brought us here today,” Miller told jurors.
Assistant Prosecutor Rebecca King-Newman asked the jury to focus on the possession of cocaine charge against Carter. Both of the alleged rape victims admitted they had obtained cocaine from Carter and that drugs were a key part of their relationship with him, she said.