A day after grabbing headlines for a cross-courtroom dive at his daughter’s killer, Van Terry told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Friday the man’s smirk made him snap.
Terry had been in the middle of delivering his victim impact statement in a Cleveland courtroom when he looked at convicted murderer Michael Madison.
“I don’t recall doing it,” Terry said of Thursday’s wild scene. “It was an instance of grieving and I just snapped as I was talking.”
Terry’s daughter –18-year-old Shirellda Terry – was one of three women strangled and stashed among garbage near Madison’s East Cleveland apartment during the summer of 2013.
A jury convicted Madison, a registered sex offender, and last month recommended he receive a death sentence.
Van Terry told Baldwin he wanted to see the man who “hurt my daughter. When I turned around to look at him, with that grin, I lost my mind.”
Bailiffs and court officials managed to hang on to the grieving father before he could grab Madison.
“I wanted to break his jaw,” Terry said. “Get that grin off his face.”
Madison was sentenced Thursday to death in the killings, a decision that brought Terry little comfort.
“It is going to take a while for him to die,” he said. “He has the right to appeal it. He’s going to go through the paperwork and the process and take a while. We have to wait for all that to go down. What, 10 years? That takes too long.”
In the meantime, Terry is left with only memories of the child he affectionately called “Heaven.”
“Her hugs … that’s what I miss about her.”
The other victims were Angela Deskins, 38, and Shetisha Sheeley, 28. The three were found at different sites within a few blocks from one another, authorities said.