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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 04, 2019 1:00 am

Victim's family angry at courthouse limits

Told only 3 can stay after hours to wait for jury

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

At least 30 friends and family gathered for three days inside a courtroom for the trial of Henry Underwood, the man accused of shooting Terrance Miles to death two years ago. 

By Thursday afternoon, only a handful remained. 

Family members said they were told by a bailiff only three could stay after 4:30 p.m., when the Allen County Courthouse closed, if jurors deliberating had not returned a verdict by then.

Shirley Miles, Terrance Miles' aunt, said she was told the number of people allowed inside the courtroom was for security reasons. 

“I felt like we are being (treated) unjust,” Shirley Miles said, adding supporters of her nephew were quiet and not disruptive during the three-day trial. 

Jurors around 6 p.m. acquitted Underwood of murder, felony murder and attempted robbery.  

In a statement, Court Executive John McGauley said the directive was given to protect “the process and participants in judicial proceedings, most importantly the jury and the defendant.”

“Considering the limits on resources we have available after business hours to protect the parties involved, the court felt it best to limit the number of individuals in the courtroom at the time of the verdict this evening,” he said. “The court gave to the families involved the choice of who those individuals would be. The court fulfilled its responsibility to protect the safety of those involved in this case while making sure that all involved were represented and present for the verdict.”

“I think it's a bit extreme for people who just wanted to see justice,” said Darraill Williams, Terrance Miles' brother.  

Terrance Miles, 36, was shot to death May 19, 2017, outside East Central Towers. 

mleblanc@jg.net