North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 21, 2013

UPDATE: Greer waives preliminary hearing

Next step is grand jury

By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News

BIRMINGHAM — The former Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church pastor charged with murder and attempted murder  has waived his preliminary hearing. He will now appear before a grand jury.

Terry Greer, 54, is accused of killing his wife Lisa, 52, and of trying to kill his daughter Suzanna, 18, in a shooting incident at the church parsonage in Gardendale on Jan. 10.

Gardendale police say that Suzanna wrestled the gun away from her father and ran to a neighbor’s house, at which point Greer began stabbing himself repeatedly with a knife.

Gardendale officers got the knife away from Greer, who was taken to a Birmingham hospital. He remained hospitalized for about two months, recovering from his wounds. Upon his release from the hospital, Greer was turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, where he remains jailed with no bond.

Gardendale Police Chief Mike Walker later formally commended several officers for their actions immediately following the shooting.

The process

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine if there is substantial evidence for a person to be charged with a crime.

Greer and his attorney Henry Lagman stood before Jefferson County District Circuit Judge Shelton Watkins for the hearing on Thursday. After the hearing was waived, Watkins announced that Greer’s case will go to a grand jury in three to four months.

The grand jury decides whether an accused person should be indicted (charged)

and tried for the crime.

If the grand jury finds evidence that Greer should be charged and tried, the case will then go to circuit court, where he “will have a jury trial if he desires,” Watkins said.

Watkins asked Greer if he understood what was happening, and Greer stated that he understood.