Man found guilty of murdering estranged wife — (The Plain Dealer)

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The Plain Dealer

By Michael Sangiacomo, The Plain Dealer

on March 13, 2010 at 7:27 AM, updated March 13, 2010 at 7:52 AM

Summit County Jail

Matthew Terrion AKRON, Oh.– A 39-year-old Glenwillow man was found guilty of murder by a jury Friday afternoon and sentenced to 21-years-to-life in prison.

After a three-day trial and less than two hours deliberation, a Summit County jury found Matthew Terrion guilty of the execution-style murder of his estranged wife, Cherilyn Terrion, in her apartment in Twinsburg.
Prosecutors said that on April 29, Terrion shot the woman in the head using a silenced 9 mm handgun, less than a month after she filed for divorce. The couple and their two children, ages 2 and 5, lived with Terrion’s family in Glenwillow before the separation.
Police discovered the crime after the victim’s co-worker contacted them when Cherilyn did not report for work.
“According to a co-worker, Cherilyn made a comment that if she was found dead it was her husband who killed her,” said prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Laurie Cramer. “Police went to Matthew Terrion’s Glenwillow home to do a welfare check on Cherilyn and instead, found Matthew barricaded in his house.”
He eventually surrendered, wearing a bullet proof vest.
Inside the home, police found that Terrion had erected barricades and stored numerous guns scattered throughout the house. Police found a sawed off loaded shotgun in the room where his two children were playing.
Police took Terrion to a hospital because said he had taken pills. At the hospital Terrion admitted shooting his wife, Cramer said.
“He also admitted he picked up the casings, left the apartment and her dead body, went home and cleaned off his gun, and hid the casings in the attic,” Cramer said. “Police later found Cherilyn’s body in her Twinsburg apartment. In court, Terrion testified that he shot his estranged wife point blank in the top of the head. He had no explanation for why he cleaned up the crime scene.”

 

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State of Ohio v Terrion — (Judicial View)

Case No. 25368 (OH Ct. App., Dist. 9, Aug. 3, 2011)

Appellant, Matthew R. Terrion, appeals from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

I.

By April of 2009, the relationship between Terrion and his wife, Cherilyn Terrion, had become rocky. When Mr. and Mrs. Terrion moved back to Ohio from Las Vegas, they purchased a home in Lakewood. Mr. Terrion began a business designing parts for Jeep Wranglers. That business failed and, with the added debt from the Lakewood home, the Terrions were forced to file for bankruptcy in October 2008. Mrs. Terrion began working outside the home while Mr. Terrion served as a stay-at-home dad for their two children. Around the time of the bankruptcy, the couple was forced to move out of the Lakewood home and into Mr. Terrion’s parents’ house. This created a strain on the marriage. The two began seeing a marriage counselor. Around April of 2009, Mrs. Terrion began spending more time outside the home. Mr. Terrion became suspicious that she was having an affair. He installed a keylogger program on her computer and discovered her MySpace and Facebook accounts, as well as a Yahoo! personal ad. The personal ad included such statements as “I am attracted to men that can take care of themselves,” “a man’s-man type of guy, if that helps the description,” “I don’t want to hold your hand and let you cry. I want to be busy holding other things for you,” and “I just don’t want a crybaby that needs his momma every five minutes.” Her marital status was set as separated and living alone. Mr. Terrion confronted her about it and she said it was old and nothing for him to worry about. On April 1, 2009, he confronted her and asked if she was having an affair. In response, she told him she wanted out of the marriage.

Around April 8, 2009, Mrs. Terrion moved into her own apartment in Twinsburg. On April 10, 2009, the Terrions agreed to amicably divorce. However, Mr. Terrion read her lawyer’s resolution of the marriage and refused to sign the documents. On April, 13, 2009, she filed for divorce. Mr. Terrion began taking the prescription medication Zoloft. On April 19, 2009, he spoke with her on the phone and read to her a letter that he had typed. In response, she agreed to call off the divorce but wanted to remain in her apartment. Mr. Terrion was ecstatic. Things continued to go well and, on April 27, 2009, Mrs. Terrion dismissed the divorce action. On April 29, 2009, Mr. Terrion placed a pistol and silencer in a box with shoes and took it to her apartment. He testified that he was going to give her the gun and silencer as a gift because it was his favorite gun and the gesture would let her know that she was more important to him than his gun collection. After eating dinner with Mrs. Terrion he bought her a television at Walmart and installed it at her apartment. Afterwards, he used the bathroom, blew his nose and put the tissue in the trash, where he saw wadded up toilet paper and became furious. At trial on cross examination Mr. Terrion admitted that he was rooting around in her trash can because he still did not trust her. Inside the toilet paper he found a condom wrapper.

At trial, Mr. Terrion explained that when they had used condoms in the past, Mrs. Terrion would wad them up in toilet paper before discarding them. He immediately knew that the reconciliation was a lie and that she had been with someone else. He returned to his truck and retrieved the box with the gun and silencer and set it on the bed. He showed her the condom wrapper and asked her what it was. She told him it was none of his business. He was furious and she was acting defensive. Eventually she told him to leave.

He grabbed the gun out of the box; he testified that he just wanted to scare her.  He further testified that she grabbed it and it fired. He admitted that he shot her pointblank in the top of the head and killed her.
Mr. Terrion then attempted to delay the investigation by taking the shell casing, returning to his parents’ home, cleaning himself and the weapon, removing the barrel that  attaches to the silencer and reattaching the factory barrel. He also hid the shell casing, keys that he took from Mrs. Terrion’s apartment, some ammunition, and the condom wrapper in plastic bags in the attic. When his parents left for work the next day, Mr. Terrion, a former police officer, put on a bullet-proof vest, barricaded the doors and windows, and positioned numerous firearms throughout the house in preparation for a standoff. He then ingested any pills that he could find. Eventually, he was arrested without further violence.
On May 19, 2009, the Summit County Grand Jury indicted Terrion on one count of murder in violation of R.C. 2903.02(A), a special felony, a firearm specification to that count, a criminal forfeiture specification to that count, and a firearm muffler or silencer specification to that count, one count of murder in violation of R.C. 2903.02(B), a special felony, also with firearm, criminal forfeiture, and silencer specifications, one count of tampering with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1), a felony of the third degree, and one count of domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree.
The charges were tried to a jury from March 9, 2010, through March 12, 2010.  On March 12, 2010, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on each count, including the attendant specifications. The court sentenced Mr. Terrion to six years of incarceration on the silencer specification to the murder count under R.C. 2903.02(A), as well as 15 years to life on the murder count under R.C. 2903.02(A). The court merged the additional firearm specification to this count. The court also merged the second murder charge and its specifications. The court further sentenced Terrion to five years of incarceration on the tampering with evidence conviction and 6 months of incarceration on the domestic violence conviction. The court ordered that the sentence on the silencer specification be served first and consecutively to the sentence for murder. The court further ordered that the sentences for tampering with evidence and domestic violence be served concurrently with each other and concurrently with the murder sentence, yielding an aggregate sentence of 21 years to life imprisonment.