The re-trial for Terry Randel Drury, 64 of Blair, ended late Friday night with a guilty verdict.
Though tried for first-degree murder, the jury found Drury guilty of manslaughter. Drury was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Closing statements were given by Att. David Thomas and Att. Robert McMahan on Friday. before presenting their final statements, both urged the jury to consider only the evidence and testimonies presented in court when coming to a decision.
Att. Thomas told the jury, “Anger robs a man of his reason,” stating that Drury had been angry with Jeff Garrison not only due to custody disputes between Garrison and Drury’s daughter, Misty Garrison, but also because Garrison had threatened Drury’s business as an unlicensed denturist.
Thomas told the jury that Drury’s deliberate intent was shown by his actions leading up to the death of Jeff Garrison April 12, 2016 —driving from his dental lab in Blair to Altus to buy shotgun shells, arriving at Walmart at 5:59 p.m., tearing open the box and loading the .410 shotgun before arriving at the scene, and shooting Garrison by 6:15 p.m. that night when he called his wife to tell her he had shot Garrison.
Thomas told the jury that Garrison had been a cancer survivor with diminished strength and pointed out Drury as the aggressor in the confrontation. He told the jury that Drury admitted that he had gone armed because he was expecting an argument and a fight, though he also admitted that he had no fights with Garrison previously and never knew Garrison to carry guns.
In an interview with Under Sheriff Stacy Randolph, Drury said he asked Garrison at the time of the incident, “Really Jeff, you’re going to take my livelihood?”
Att. McMahan told the jury that the dental lab was Drury’s sole source of income and had provided him and his family a home and a living.
McMahan pointed out that Drury waited over three hours to go talk to Garrison about the phone calls Garrison made that pointed out Drury’s unlicensed dental lab to local dentists. McMahan told the jury that Drury could have gone straight to Garrison’s residence with any of the other firearms he owned instead of driving to Altus to buy .410 birdshot shells for a youth model shotgun.
McMahan asked the jury to consider if Garrison was the aggressor based on his actions leading up to the incident.
According to Drury, Garrison would not take his phone calls or reply to text messages and that was the reason he went to Garrison’s residence on April 12, 2016 — “to reason with him.”
In Drury’s interview, he tells Under Sheriff Randolph that Garrison was “coming at” him with a chainsaw, but photographs from the crime scene place the chainsaw 19 feet away from Garrison on a tree behind a barbed-wire fence. Photographic evidence also places a 67-pound log on top of Garrison.
Throughout the case, the placement of the chainsaw and the log has been contested bringing Drury’s honesty into question as well as his mental state.
Friday, McMahan asked the jury if it mattered whether Garrison was attempting to attack Drury with a chainsaw or a log, asserting that either object would have been harmful to Drury due to a recent hernia surgery and other medical conditions.
This verdict comes 17 months after the day the crime was committed.
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.