WILMINGTON — A man, who in 1994 killed a local woman, was released this week after 10 years in prison where a clean record of behavior provided grounds for him to be freed.
In a cold case that was cracked through a DNA match, Terrin R. Long, now 56, pled guilty in March 2010 to involuntary manslaughter as part of a negotiated settlement.
The victim was 32-year-old Diana Crum of Wilmington who was strangled to death, according to the autopsy.
In the plea agreement, defense counsel and prosecution had both recommended Long receive an indefinite prison term of 10 to 25 years. The plea agreement also stated if Long had a positive record while a prison inmate, then he shall be released from prison upon the filing of a request, after serving 10 full years.
There are no infractions reported by prison authorities and moreover Long obtained a high school diploma equivalent while incarcerated and completed rehabilitative programs there.
“Defendant’s prison record over the past 10 years is exemplary,” Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck said Thursday. In addition, according to the state prison system’s re-entry assessment of Long, there is a low risk of recidivism.
Crum’s daughter Crystal Doughman, who was 9 when her mother was killed, gave an emotional victim impact statement Thursday in the courtroom.
She started to cry before her statement. Much of the time she looked at Long while speaking.
“You took my mother’s life,” said Doughman.
At one point, she asked Long questions and he responded he can’t change anything that happened and is sorry.
Then Doughman asked why he did it and Clinton County Public Defender Rob Baker, who is Long’s attorney, objected to the judge. Rudduck said Long would have an opportunity to be heard later and Doughman did not ask Long any more questions, directly.
After speaking about how she thinks the loss of her mother has adversely affected her life, she asked, “Do you know how it feels not to be able to love someone, or be scared to love?”
Doughman concluded, “I am very disappointed right now,” and after returning to sit in the gallery, she began to sob.
Long did make a few remarks when given the opportunity. At the end of his comments, he swiveled his chair toward Doughman and said, “Crystal I am sorry. I can’t change what happened. I can’t change [it]. As I said, I’m sorry.”
Though Long is now out of prison, he will be under supervision for a five-year term. He was told if he does not comply with the rules of probation, then the suspended 10- to 25-year prison sentence can be reinstated.
Rudduck told Doughman he knew her mother.
“Now I did know her. And I know she would want you to heal and recover,” the judge said.
He also touched upon the negotiated settlement of the case as reached by prosecution and defense in 2010. Although reportedly the DNA match showed Long had contact with Crum, the judge said the uncertainty involved in having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt goes a long way in understanding why there was a plea agreement.
There was no guarantee if the case had gone to trial that the 12 members of a jury would have unanimously found Long guilty, Rudduck said to the victim’s family in the courtroom.
As Long transitions back into civil society after a decade away, his family has pledged to help him when it comes to housing and transportation.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.