North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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January 28, 2013

Prosecutors, defense attorney search parsonage where pastor's wife was murdered

GARDENDALE — Investigators, prosecutors and defense attorneys stepped inside the parsonage of the Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church on Monday morning, hoping to find clues to help them discern what caused a shooting that resulted in the death of the pastor’s wife.

It was the first time since the Jan. 10 shooting that concerned parties went through the house on Gardendale’s north side. Both sides of the case went through the parsonage to try to find anything that may have been overlooked in the frenzy that followed the fatal shooting of Lisa Greer and the wounding of her daughter Suzanna. Police allege that the Rev. Dr. Terry Greer shot both of them, then stabbed himself after his daughter wrestled the gun away from him.

Among those who took part was Henry Lagman, Terry Greer’s attorney.

“The police have had a chance to conduct a forensic search of the house, but the defense has had no other opportunities until today to go into the house to ask that certain items be produced on behalf of the defense,” Lagman said.

“The state has taken information from the parsonage and left an inventory with the church. The defense has not had an opportunity to possibly identify things which may be relevant and exculpatory to Dr. Greer. We have now identified some of those items, and we’re going to meet with the evidence technician and the detective involved with this case to further identify them.”

One person who was not allowed to enter the house was Jim Roberts, the attorney representing the estate of Lisa Greer. Roberts came to the house Monday, but was barred from entering when he arrived. Roberts would not comment for the record as to the reason he was barred.

“It’s a very sad situation. We believe the legal process needs to run its course,” Roberts said.

Lagman has made the rounds of several news media outlets in the past week, in an effort to find people who may have communicated with any of the Greers regarding Dr. Greer’s mental and physical state in the three months leading up to the shooting.

“Terry had withdrawn from contact [with others], and we’re just trying to find anyone who can give some insight as to what may have happened,” Lagman said.

The withdrawal began after Terry Greer was injured in a car crash, when he passed out and ran into a guard rail as he was driving himself to St. Vincent’s Hospital with what he believed to be a heart problem, possibly a heart attack. That happened last October.

“There a lot of people working very hard on this case. I’ve had retired judges offer to represent Terry. Terry is asking the same questions over and over, such as how Lisa is doing,” Lagman added. “This is one case that, for me, has turned Christianity upside down. It has been extremely difficult for a large number of people across the state of Alabama, who are just trying to understand what happened.”

Meanwhile, Terry Greer remains in critical but stable condition at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where he is now suffering from pneumonia, presumably due in whole or part to his self-inflicted stab wounds.

According to an update Sunday on Lagman’s website, his client is on a ventilator, and has been heavily medicated. Communication has been difficult because of throat problems, and Dr. Greer can only mouth words at the moment.

Terry Greer remains under 24-hour armed guard. When he is released form the hospital, he will be handed over for custody. Prosecutors are asking that he be held without bond.

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