Monday, December 22, 2008

Phony veteran admits guilt in Akron court, faces jail time

Benjamin Terril opted to take his chances with a judge rather than a jury of his peers. The former Buchtel Science teacher who was charged with pointing a loaded gun at another man's head admitted to the indictment today and now faces jail time.

According to a press release:

"Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Benjamin Terril, 50, of Iona Avenue, Akron, pled guilty to Carrying a Concealed Weapon, a felony of the fourth degree; two counts of Possession of a Dangerous Ordinance, felonies of the fifth degree; Using Weapons While Intoxicated, a misdemeanor of the first degree; Drug Paraphernalia, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; and possession of Marijuana, a minor misdemeanor. Sentencing is scheduled for January 28, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. in Judge Stormer’s court."

I don't think he can ask for probation since there are three felony convictions here, but I imagine he'll try. Several folks who knew him years ago have been telling me for weeks that he would never ever admit to these crimes. Guess he proved them wrong.

I'm not sure if Judge Stormer will mention our investigation that found that Terril lied about being a "war hero" in the 82nd Airborne to include wearing an Army uniform and tagging along with local recruiters talking about his military experience.

As I found out with a free public records request, Terril never served a single day in uniform. The Akron Public Schools later verified that same false resume and fired him.

Terril's lawyer filed a brief with the court asking that any mention of his military claims be kept out of his trial claiming that it didn't matter based on these charges. We'll never know if the jury would have heard that part now that he's plead guilty before going to trial. I do know that he told police during his arrest that the reason he had so many guns is because he had "military experience."

I'll be interested to see if any "real" veterans or Terril's former students or teachers come to his sentencing.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why are there no Federal charges for either the illegal ordinance or under the Stolen Valor act? I have been following this story with great interest and hope that he doesn't walk away with a slap on the wrist for this one. It's time to send a message that having a gun collection is one thing, having an arsenel is another. Let this teacher be an example that will teach a lot of people a lesson.

Anonymous said...

Hmm I oddly don't know how to feel about this, since I thought I knew him for a while. I suppose he should get what he deserves--which is more than just a slap on the wrist. Send him to jail. Though I do think them not charging him under the Stolen Valor Act is ridiculous.

Fabi said...

Oh my gosh, this is really sad. When I read this, I can only wonder "Why?"
I mean, I can understand "Oh yeah, I'm a millionaire" in 3rd grade, but posing as a veteran as an adult is just beyond me. Hey, I'm not an adult yet, but lying went out of style when I was about 8, and I can't imagine it coming back around as I grow older. And the amount of guns he had was honestly scary. Maybe he has a mental illness. This just confuses me.

--Julia