Murder Mistrial

Murder Mistrial

Jury unable to reach verdict in murder of Shakeel Baldon.


Clarence Terry

Clarence Terry and Pamela Callaway Terry’s relationship was a wildfire. The prosecution, saying Clarence Terry was a man losing control of his marriage, showed a series of threatening text messages to his wife to prove the building anger and frustration between the two of them. Prosecutors Amanda Tassa and Andrew Criado told the jury that Clarence Terry was a man fueled by jealousy who finally lashed out and killed an innocent man, Shakeel Baldon, who approached Pamela Callaway Terry on the street and flirted with her. In the story the prosecution laid out: Clarence Terry approached his wife and the stranger near Landmark Mall. The prosecution says Clarence Terry stabbed Baldon in the chest and then fled the scene.

But the jury didn’t buy that story. On March 28, Clarence Terry was found not guilty of the assault and battery charges against Pamela Callaway Terry. No verdict was reached on the remaining charge, the murder of Baldon, and it was declared a mistrial.

The crucial witness to the murder was Pamela Callaway Terry, who testified that Clarence Terry committed the murder, but both the prosecution and the defense acknowledged she had lied to the police throughout the investigation. Pamela Callaway Terry had initially told the police that she hadn’t seen anything and saying her husband wasn’t there to eventually telling the police he was not only there but had committed the murder. The distance between Pamela Callaway Terry and the murder scene changed with each interview as well, with her at first being nearly a block away from the murder to being right next to Baldon when it happened. Police never found a murder weapon, but a week before the trial Pamela Callaway Terry admitted to perjury, saying that she did have the knife after the murder but had ditched it out of fear.

During the trial, defense attorneys Michael Hadeed and Rammy Barbari not only highlighted Pamela Callaway Terry’s lack of credibility, but cast suspicions towards her role in the events of that night. Hadeed said police told Pamela Callaway Terry she was either going to be a suspect or a witness, and that Pamela Callaway Terry had opted to sacrifice her husband rather than fall under investigation. As a result, Hadeed said police never thoroughly investigated Pamela Callaway Terry as a potential suspect.

Throughout the trial, the prosecutors acknowledged that Pamela Callaway Terry had lied about facts of the investigation, but that those lies had initially been told to try and help her husband. “The defense would have you believe the defendant is being framed,” said Criado. “She lied, but that lie helped [Clarence Terry]. The idea that she committed the murder makes no sense. There’s no evidence. It’s just speculation and innuendo. She hated that this case happened, hated that her husband was charged and that Shakeel [Baldon] died. Everyone involved suffers.”

Enough doubt was cast on Clarence Terry’s guilt in the crime that the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

“Clarence Terry maintains his innocence and I will fight very hard for him until the end,” said Hadeed.

According to Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Porter, prosecutors are looking at May for a potential retrial.