Capital murder suspect freed, speaks out
A life behind razor wires, locked doors and alone in a jail cell was a near reality for Terry Frazier and Terry Euglon. Each was charged with capital murder and getting ready to stand trial this month, both are now walking free.
"Justice took too long, 33 months is too long for somebody that's not guilty of something that's 33 months I can't get back," Euglon said.
The pair was accused of murdering Aaron Leffage. The 20-year old died in July 2012 after police said someone beat him during a robbery at a home in north Beaumont.
Wednesday, the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office dismissed the case due to insufficient evidence, sent it back to the Beaumont Police Department and released the pair from jail.
"We hope that someday at some time we will have the proper defendants whether it be the ones we had before or others that will stand trial for this case and be responsible for the problems they caused," District Attorney Bob Wortham said.
He and assistant district attorney Rachel Grove said police did an excellent job investigating the case, but that there were issues from the beginning. A key factor in the decision they said was two key witnesses who recanted their statements.
"There was an alleged drug deal that had occurred, a robbery of the drug dealer and ultimately the death of an individual. So a lot of the witnesses were not willing to come forward," Grove said. "There's a lot of credibility issues with some of their statements."
Terry Frazier's attorney, Ryan Gertz, pointed out the statements in a memo he sent to the district attorney's office.
"This was a case with almost no physical evidence tying either my client or really anybody to the crime," Gertz said.
Frazier said he did not kill Leffage.
Gertz said cell phone evidence in part clears Frazier of being at the home at the time of the killing.
"It showed that he wasn't there and it showed that their timeline was wrong," Gertz said.
"It changed me for the better," Frazier said. "Never gonna say I was a saint that was just out there doing right but this charge that they falsely put on me one hundred percent I know," he said shaking his head no.
Frazier said he's taking his new found freedom as a second chance at life.
"Got knuckleheads choosing to be growing up and want to be in gangs and stuff, pull them to the side and try to get try to rejuvenate them," Frazier said.
But there's one young life for whom justice has yet to be served.
"Ultimately even if there had been a conviction, Aaron Leffage's family did not think this would bring closure to them as well," Grove said. "They are an extraordinarily good family and it's very tragic what happened to their son."
Grove said they have been in constant communication with the Leffage family and believes they are on board with the decision.