By Jeff Lehr
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A Jasper County jury returned split verdicts today in the child molestation trial of James A. Terry of Webb City.
After three hours of deliberation, jurors acquitted the 64-year-old defendant on felony counts arising from three alleged victims but convicted him with respect to a fourth young accuser.
Three girls, ages 9, 12 and 14, testified at the trial that began Wednesday in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin that Terry molested them on various occasions between 2006 and 2008 when they ranged in age from 3 to 9 years old. A 21-year-old woman testified that Terry attempted to molest her when she was 11.
The jury was willing to convict the defendant with respect to the 14-year-old girl’s accusations but not the others.
The verdict leaves Terry facing the prospect of five to 15 years in prison. Circuit Judge Gayle Crane set his sentencing hearing for April 1. Terry remains free on $10,000 bond pending sentencing.