— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) June 2, 2016
Heart-wrenching footage from inside a Cleveland courtroom captured the moment a victim’s father lunged at convicted serial killer Michael Madison, who was sentenced to death Thursday. “I guess we are supposed to find it in our hearts to forgive this clown… who has taken my child,” Van Terry, father of Shirellda Terry, said during his statement to the courtroom, according to FOX 8. Terry then turned around to face Madison before jumping across a table and trying to grab him.
Van Terry’s daughter, just 18 at the time, was Madison’s third victim. Madison strangled Shetisha Sheeley in October 2012, Angela Deskins in May 2013, and Shirellda Terry two months later in July. The bodies of the victims, which Cleveland.com reports were “folded in half and stuffed into garbage bags,” were discovered in East Cleveland in July 2013 after a local cable worker reported a foul odor coming from a garage leased by Madison.
“This individual had no foundation on which to make the proper choices,” Madison’s defense attorney, David Grant told the jury last month. “The evidence will show that Mike’s life was further influenced by a disturbed family tree, comprised of generations of physical abusers, sex abusers. Literally, a family tree of abuse.”
Van Terry was ultimately removed from the Cuyahoga County Justice Center after the emotional encounter that minutes after Madison’s death sentence. Though the judge could have sentenced Madison to life in prison with no possibility of parole, the jury’s recommendation of execution was ultimately honored.