Lori Fullbright, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The mother of an accused killer is speaking out on behalf of her son.
Terrico Bethel is charged with being the triggerman in the murder of TU Hall of Famer Neal Sweeney. Bethel has a court hearing Friday to get a new lawyer appointed, his fourth one.
A lot of people aren't going to be shocked that a mother believes her son is innocent of such a heinous crime. Glenda Gray says she's only asking people to see her son as a person, not a monster.
Terrico Bethel and his twin brother have an older sister and younger brother. His mother says Terrico loved playing football when he attended Central High school. She says he is the one in the family to keep the others upbeat.
"Amazingly, he keeps me going," Glenda said.
She says he loves children and has a son who is about to turn four. She says he is known to his family as a loveable person. She says if she believed her son was capable of murder she would say, but she says it's not his character.
"I'm his mom, of course I still see that baby. But honestly, because I've known Terrico for 25 years, no I don't believe he did it. As close as we are, I would know," she said.
She believes the DA and Sweeney's family want the right person to be prosecuted for this crime, she just doesn't believe her son is the right person.
She says one witness at first said it wasn't her son, and then said it was. She doubts the so-called jailhouse confession and points out, the murder weapon hasn't been found.
Records show Bethel was convicted in 2005 for carrying a weapon and resisting arrest, and later forfeited a handgun.
Records also show he was convicted of false impersonation in 2007. And a few months before he was charged with Sweeney's murder, he was convicted of drugs, destroying evidence, resisting arrest, public drunkenness and assaulting an officer.
His mother says those were minor crimes and never involved hurting another person.
"Sometimes I allow myself to worry, but believing in God and believing in Terrisco, I just believe due process and faith in God that he's going to walk out," she said.
Court documents say Bethel confessed to being the shooter to a person in jail and that conversation was recorded. A judge ruled there's enough evidence against Bethel for him to stand trial for the murder.
That trial was set for later this month, but now that he's changing attorneys again. Prosecutors say it will likely be pushed back to February when the trials of the other suspects are also scheduled.