Probation handed down in Terry case

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By Susan Sharp

In court Monday, one time LaFollette Police Officer Daniel Terry pled guilty to criminal charges.

For the former lawman, it was a switch of circumstances.

After admitting he was guilty of statutory rape and official misconduct the 26-year- old was given his sentence. For the statutory rape charge, Terry was sentenced to two years judicial diversion while the other charge netted him two years supervised probation.

Aside from this, Terry is responsible for his court costs. District Attorney General Paul Phillips told the court Terry had agreed to pay those within 30 days.

During the brief hearing, the court was informed Terry’s charges stemmed from a relationship he formed with a 17-year-old female. “He had sex with a 17-year-old high school senior at the time,” Phillips told Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton.

Adding to Terry’s legal woes, the relationship with girl “was struck up” while he was on duty for the city of LaFollette and the town of Jacksboro, where he worked as a part-time officer. Officials believe the two started a relationship in December 2009, three months before the girl’s 18th birthday.

When Eric Griffith, the girl’s father, was provided the opportunity to speak, he chose to start by addressing Terry’s education. Initially Griffith said he was “shocked” to learn Terry lacked a high school diploma despite being hired by the city of LaFollette. He then retracted that portion of his statement saying that was not a shock.

Turning his focus back to matter at hand, Griffith told the judge Terry had done “a lot of things” in his life that “caused a lot of pain.”