Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: We Kill the Ones We Love’ chronicles the horrific murder of 21-year-old Van Lee Terry in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in January 1994. The investigators caught the perpetrators liable for the murder with the help of old-school police work and the help of a confidential informant. If you’re to look out out additional regarding the case, along with the killers’ identities and current whereabouts, we’ve you lined. Let’s begin then, lets?
How Did Van Lee Terry Die?
Van Lee Terry was born on September 19, 1972, in Amarillo in Potter County, Texas. He shifted to Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, in 1993 after he grew to turn out to be a model new father. According to family sources, he joined a college and wished to further his education to supply greater take care of his child. He was a triplet with a brother named Dan and a sister named Jan Terry. On January 8, 1994, a white vehicle pulled in entrance of the emergency room of the Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs a little bit of after 1:00 am.
Two individuals rushed out of the car, looking for and crying for help, and the medical personnel wheeled two people from the auto. Both had been shot with a .380-caliber, and one amongst them was in very important scenario. The first sufferer was Earl Pickett, then 21, who had suffered a grazing gunshot wound inside the once more. The second sufferer was Van Lee Terry, 21, who had been shot inside the chest, and the injury appeared lethal. Van had misplaced numerous blood and succumbed to accidents inside hours of arriving on the hospital.
Who Killed Van Lee Terry?
The hospital officers educated the Colorado Springs Police Department, and officers arrived inside minutes. They found the car parked inside the ambulance bay and observed numerous blood contained within the rear correct end. There was lots blood that it had drained out onto the street. The detectives moreover noticed a small amount of blood on the doorway passenger facet. Based on the amount of blood, they deduced Van was sitting on the rear-right facet whereas Earl was inside the entrance passenger seat.
The regulation enforcement officers observed two gunshot holes inside the vehicle near the rear-right passenger door with the window shattered. It was evident some gunshot went by way of the window, hitting the two victims. However, they’ve been surprised to discover a .380-caliber weapon from beneath the doorway passenger seat, the place Earl was supposedly sitting. The cocked weapon had an empty journal, nevertheless there was no proof that the firearm had been fired.
The detectives interviewed Earl to review the 21-year-old was inside the navy and the proprietor of the car. He was Jan’s boyfriend and deliberate on going to the movies collectively together with her brothers. However, they missed the current and have been hanging spherical and listening to music. Earl knowledgeable the officers he was drunk, so Jan was driving the car. They have been going down Platte Avenue near Institute Street a little bit of after 11:00 am when a darkish vehicle with tinted residence home windows pulled by their facet, and anyone fired images at them sooner than dashing away.
When questioned regarding the gun, Earl allegedly feigned ignorance sooner than admitting it belonged to him. He moreover knowledgeable the officers the gang had gone to a fast meals restaurant downtown to take a leak when he purchased embroiled in a fight with a black male with braids. According to witnesses, the latter reportedly acknowledged one factor offensive to Jan, and Earl reacted to it by pulling out his empty gun and chasing the person and his friends away. The solely description of the particular person they may get was he used blue rubber bands for his braids.
However, the detectives purchased a breakthrough when the theft unit of the Colorado Springs Police Department apprehended a burglar named Mike Edmonds. He agreed to show the names of the perpetrators involved inside the drive-by shootout in change for a lighter sentence. According to Mike, he was hanging out with two acquaintances of his burglaries, 19-year-old Matthew Gorman and 20-year-old Ronnie E. Wilcox. They knowledgeable him they’ve been involved inside the shootout, with Robert Ziegler, then 23, being the shooter.
Where is Robert Ziegler Now?
The police found Robert was a recurring offender with larger than 30 prices to his establish and was out on parole. He was the person with the braids who allegedly initiated the fight with Earl. With the help of his parole officer, Robert was arrested inside just some weeks of the crime. His accomplices, Ronnie, Matthew, and Sue Kline, then 18, have been moreover arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
According to the current, Robert was infuriated when Earl threatened him with the gun and wished to get even. Court data state Matthew helped him uncover the murder weapon, and the 4 of them went out looking for Earl’s white vehicle. After driving for nearly half an hour, they found the concerned vehicle, and Robert shot quite a few rounds at them sooner than dashing away.
Robert pleaded accountable to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 76 years in jail. The totally different three have been convicted of being tools to murder, with Ronnie being handed a 10-year sentence, Matthew a 14-year sentence, and Sue a 9-year sentence. According to courtroom data, Robert, 52, is serving his sentence on the Sterling Correctional Facility. His inmate data state his subsequent parole date is July 2024, and his earliest launch date is September 2066.