TERRY VERDICT: Polk County jury takes two hours to find North Carolina man guilty as charged
Just two hours after getting the case, a Polk County jury convicted a North Carolina man of running down a Des Moines Police Officer. 37-year old Keith Terry is guilty of Serious Injury by Vehicle and OWI.
“This entire event was avoidable. The only thing he had to do was stop,” says Assistant Polk County Attorney David Porter.
After seven hours of drinking, prosecutors argued that Terry was so drunk, he couldn’t stop. He ran a red light and ran over Officer Phoukham Tran.
“He was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to do,” says Porter.
The defense claimed Terry had a green light and Tran turned his back to oncoming traffic.
“He didn’t take a bullet for the crowd. He made a mistake when he stepped in front of a moving truck that had a green light,” says defense attorney Darren Page.
In the end, the jury blamed Terry for what happened.
“Phoukham Tran, he’s a wonderful person and to see what happened to him is just very upsetting because he was doing his job that night protecting people and he almost ends up dying as a result of what happened. So verdict by the jury was a very fair verdict and just verdict,” says Polk County Attorney John Sarcone.
Tran’s sons left the courthouse right after the verdict was read. They didn’t wait around to see the man who nearly killed their father led away handcuffs. Terry is facing up to seven years in prison. The judge set sentencing for April 5th.