Youth Held in Slaying of Father Recalls Daylong Drug Binge, Plan to Rob Parents

Times Staff Writer

An Anaheim teen-ager charged in the killing of his father and wounding of his mother pleaded for forgiveness Saturday and said the incident followed a daylong drug binge during which he plotted to steal his parents' jewelry and exchange it for more drugs.

In a 30-minute conversation in the visitor's section of the Orange County Jail, David John Terry, 18, described the events that he said led to the shooting of his parents in their north Anaheim home Monday night.

He begged for understanding and said that on the night of the shootings, he was "flying high" from drugs that included marijuana, cocaine and LSD.

'Terrible Mistake'

"I love my parents very much," he said. "I didn't want anything to happen to them. I want her (his mother) to know that this was a terrible mistake and I am sorry it happened this way."

Terry's father, Owen Lloyd Terry, 56, an accountant, and his mother, Pauline Sharon Terry, 51, an instructional aide at Riverdale Elementary School in Anaheim, were gunned down in their home around 8 p.m. Monday. Mrs. Terry, who survived several gunshot wounds, was in stable condition Saturday at Western Medical Center.

An acquaintance of Terry, Richard Lawrence Rodriguez, 20, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and burglary. Anaheim police have said that Terry apparently was not in the house when his parents were shot, but planned the robbery with Rodriguez.

Rodriguez declined to be interviewed by The Times.

In a sometimes emotional recounting of the day of the shooting, Terry said he spent the afternoon riding in his pickup with a friend, visiting video arcade galleries and taking drugs. He said he smoked marijuana, inhaled "a large line of cocaine," and took a blotter of what he called "micro-dot acid," a hallucinogen.

Out of Drugs, Money

Around sunset, Terry said, he ran out of drugs and money and went to the Orange Mall where he met Rodriguez.

Terry said he asked Rodriguez where he could get marijuana or possibly other drugs, and it was then that the idea of robbing his own parents was mentioned.

Terry said he told Rodriguez that his parents kept jewelry in the house.

Rodriguez, Terry said, claimed he could sell the jewelry. Rodriguez then said he "needed a gun to go in there and hold them up," Terry said.

At 7:30 p.m., Terry said, he and Rodriguez drove to the North Sweetwater Street home in Terry's pickup, for which his parents had co-signed a loan two months earlier.

As Rodriguez waited in the truck, Terry said, he went inside, got his father's .45-caliber revolver from a dresser and bullets from his own room.

His father had fallen asleep on a recliner in the family room, and his mother was in the kitchen, Terry said.

A Meeting Planned

"I thought it was good that dad was sleeping," he added. "I thought that if he (Rodriguez) went in quietly and snuck out, he could get in and get what he wanted and I could get what I wanted."

Terry said he and Rodriguez agreed to meet at a bowling alley in Tustin at 9 p.m. after the robbery.

But the meeting never took place, he said. Instead, a friend found Terry and told him there were police cars in front of his house. When he drove by to take a look, he was stopped and questioned by police. The next day he was arrested.

Terry, an only child and a high school dropout, said he longs to see his mother.

"I want to see her," he said. "Even if they have to handcuff me, I want to see my mom. She's the only one who can help me now."

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