Davidson County

Wendy Terry, attorney, ada, lexington, davidson county, NC, assistant district attorney, felony, buying election, false pretense, obstruction of justice

The Indictment of Wendy Terry: Davidson County District Attorneys’ Secrets

Wendy Terry may have kept many secrets about her professional conduct for more than a decade. But one, once hinted at, appears to have lasted less than a day. On Tuesday afternoon, an indictment was returned alleging that, in late July, Terry, an assistant district attorney in Davidson County, sent a text message to a district judge, offering $20,000 for a superior court judicial seat, the Winston Salem Journal reports.

The offer was allegedly made on a Thursday. And come Monday, the SBI was involved, and Terry was placed on administrative leave, the county’s district attorney, Garry Frank, told WXII12.

Quid pro quo indictment

The six-count indictment alleges that Terry promised to contribute $20,000 to Davidson County District Court Judge April Wood’s campaign, with strings attached: Wood would need to persuade her husband, Jeffrey Berg, to bow out of the race for a superior court seat that Terry wanted to fill. (Judge Theodore “Ted” Royster’s Davidson County Superior Court seat is up for grabs in 2016.) The indictment also alleges that Terry offered to front Berg’s filing fee if he would run for a district court seat instead, according to WXII12’s report.

Judge Wood announced through Facebook on July 22 that her husband would be running for the District 22B superior court seat, the Lexington Dispatch reported. Terry allegedly propositioned Wood by text message the next day.

Terry was indicted by the Davidson Count Grand Jury on the following counts:

  • two counts of felony buying and selling offices;
  • felony obstructing justice;
  • misdemeanor primary/election violation;
  • attempt to violate campaign contribution limits; and
  • attempt to obtain property by false pretenses.

Under North Carolina law, permissible campaign contributions are capped at $5,100.

Lack of integrity in Davidson County District Attorney’s office

“Former Assistant District Attorney Accused of Corruption,” WFMY News 2 reported, summing up the scoop in a single sentence: “The word ‘unlawful’ is being associated with someone trusted with upholding the law.”

But allegations of corruption in the Davidson County DA’s office, while newsworthy, are not new. We just recently covered several stories on Jamie LaPrad, North Carolina’s “Candy Cane Prosecutor” who was fired from her Davidson County post last year after word got out that LaPrad’s colleague had obtained a restraining order against her.

And while LaPrad never faced criminal charges, an added irony for Terry is she likely sought indictments as a prosecutor from the very grand jury that ultimately indicted her. (It’s also worth mentioning that Terry is married to Davidson County District Court Judge Carlton Terry, who was publicly reprimanded in 2008 by the Judicial Standards Commission for ex parte communications on Facebook.)

Both LaPrad and Terry appear to have considered themselves above the law.

An editorial in the Lexington Dispatch touched on this, commenting on the lack of integrity in the Davidson County DA’s office:

For the second time in a year, a prosecutor has left the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office under dubious circumstances.
. . . [T]he personnel issues are troubling in an office charged with prosecuting those who violate the law.

But calling them “troubling” stops short of the issues’ actual import. With the integrity of our criminal justice system depending, as it does, on the integrity of the actors involved, the latest news out of North Carolina’s District 22B again poses serious questions about the caliber of justice that district is doling out.

Moreover, that LaPrad and Terry both worked as prosecutors in the district for so many years before having their character revealed to the public only accentuates these concerns.

According to the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, over two-fifths (42.8%) of Americans consider prosecutorial misconduct widespread, a strong majority (71.4%) thinks most cases of prosecutorial misconduct are kept hidden from the public, and a similarly strong majority (73.5%) believes prosecutors who commit misconduct are almost never punished. So, even though it certainly took far too long in both instances for LaPrad and Terry to be exposed, the public can perhaps take some solace in knowing that it did finally happen.

Potential consequences for Terry

Wendy Terry resigned this week from the Davidson County District Attorney’s office, where she worked as an assistant district attorney for over ten years. But losing her job is likely the least of Terry’s worries. If convicted, she could face jail time.

Felony common law obstruction of justice is a Class H felony under section 14-3(b) of the North Carolina General Statutes. North Carolina law requires that Class H felons be sentenced to between four and twenty-five months, depending on their prior convictions. And while no prior convictions can mean community or intermediate punishment, anyone convicted of a Class H felony can be sentenced to active jail time.

The charges for buying and selling offices are Class I felonies. Each carries a presumptive sentence of four to six months community punishment.

Last but certainly not least, the attempted obtaining property by false pretenses charge also is a Class I H felony,* if the value is less than $100,000. But if the value is $100,000 or more, it becomes a Class D C felony,* which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of thirty-eight forty-four months active jail time.

Terry’s annual salary was $62,000, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. And with the average salary for superior court judges—who all serve eight-year terms—currently hovering around $135,000, it appears the superior court seat was worth well over $100,000 to Terry, which means this could end up being her most serious offense.

Think Terry can make friends behind bars with the criminals she put there?

The former prosecutor turned criminal defendant has an October 5, 2015 court date in Davidson County Superior Court.

*CORRECTION: Post edited December 13, 2015 to correct errors in the classification of the attempted obtaining property by false pretenses felony offense. Because N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-100(a)

  1. includes attempt as part of the substantive offense (“obtain or attempt to obtain”), and
  2. expressly states that a commission of the offense is either a Class C or a Class H felony (depending on “the value of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other things of value”),

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-2.5 should not apply.

Other sources:

Interesting note: The Master Calendar of Superior Courts shows Judge Ted Royster (who Terry sought to unseat) and Judge Julia Lynn Gullett presiding in Davidson County Superior Court on October 5, 2015. If the case goes before Judge Royster, he will presumably recuse himself based on the conflict of interest.
Jamie LaPrad, Attorney, NC, ada, Davidson County, Lexington, assistant district attorney, fired, scandal, corruption

North Carolina’s Candy Cane Prosecutor Jamie LaPrad Dismissed

Candy Cane Prosecutor Update

Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank handed Assistant District Attorney Jamie Gentry LaPrad a pink slip to go with her candy cane, but only some months after fellow prosecutor—and fellow Frank underling—Alan Martin petitioned the Mecklenburg County courts for a restraining order against LaPrad, according to The Dispatch.

LaPrad was “released from her duties,” as The Dispatch puts it, on August 27, 2014, under an “involuntary separation.”

Jamie LaPrad’s dismissal leaves lingering questions, concerns

Why Davidson County’s top law enforcement officer took so long to get rid of LaPrad is as baffling as it is concerning. Martin’s court filings not only are a matter of public record but—by that very fact—furnished adequate grounds to investigate and promptly address this matter. More to the point, Frank’s belated move does nothing to restore public confidence in LaPrad’s inherently suspect pre-dismissal performance representing the State of North Carolina in criminal proceedings.

Without exception, Martin’s filings unveil a very dark and troubled public official. But they further unveil a cavalier willingness to disregard the law.

To cite but one example, the complaint quotes LaPrad as having made credible threats to

  • (1) castrate the man who rejected her (a felony in North Carolina), and
  • (2) portend malfeasance on both Martin’s new romantic interest and her family (likely a serious misdemeanor).

And this all appears to have stemmed from LaPrad simply not getting her way.

On the whole, this leaves serious questions not only about LaPrad’s (dis-)respecting the law but also about how LaPrad, as a minister of justice, dealt with defeat.


This is a follow-up to our earlier post on North Carolina’s Candy Cane Prosecutor, Jamie LaPrad. Martin’s court filings are included in that post.

Jamie LaPrad, Attorney, NC, ada, Davidson County, Lexington, Assistant District Attorney, fired, corruption

Assistant District Attorney Jamie LaPrad to Colleague: The Big Candy Cane You Enjoy Using on Me

Jamie LaPrad apparently thinks the law applies to everyone but her.

A domestic violence protective order was issued in June 2014 against LaPrad, an assistant district attorney in Davidson County, at the request of a fellow prosecutor, according to the Lexington Dispatch. Davidson County’s local newspaper reported that “Alan B. Martin, also an assistant district attorney for Davidson County who lives in Mecklenburg County, petitioned for the domestic violence order against LaPrad.”

Before going any further, we begin by noting the Jamie LaPrad saga has all the trappings of a “West Virginia Invades North Carolina” byline: As we’re about to see, the Old North State’s doling out so-called justice through LaPrad is perhaps as squalid as it gets.

To be sure, even a cursory read of Alan Martin’s court filings (most of which are included in the link at the bottom of this post) will likely leave you both disgusted and disturbed by the top law enforcement officials in Davidson County—and in particular, by Miss Jamie LaPrad.

The revelations in those filings, however, also lead us to caution that this post only covers parts of them. That said, we strongly encourage an independent review of Martin’s filings (link below) for added insights into the “mentally unstable woman” who—despite this undeniably apt characterization—had the power to single-handedly shape the lives and futures of alleged suspects in North Carolina.

Notably, an attorney who has practiced in Davidson County for nearly fifty years told us the only way to get justice in a case prosecuted by LaPrad was to get counsel who neither knew nor had any connection to her.

With that in mind, we now return to the restraining order LaPrad’s co-worker secured against her, after calling off the romance between them.

Petition for protective order against LaPrad

Alan Martin’s petition says that LaPrad, in one month’s time, sent him over 169 uncalled-for emails and 493 uncalled-for text messages. The petition includes what appears to be screen shots of several of the texts that LaPrad allegedly sent, some of which featured what we’ll (*cough* euphemistically) call “selfies” (and have redacted from the linked filings).

Others involved LaPrad asking Martin about “toys” she had at his house:

Hey baby, what was that you wanted me to do to you again?
Something with the “toys” that I still have at your house?
Or maybe with the big candycane [sic] that you enjoy using on me so much?

And still others, which appear to have been sent while LaPrad was at work–i.e., on North Carolina taxpayers’ dime–suggest a jilted LaPrad may have asked police to “be on the lookout” for Martin and his (new) girlfriend drinking and driving:

Are you coming to work today?

Oh your [sic] on the phone with your girlfriend. Well if you are planning your dates for Thursday or this week, I would think twice about that. Especially about being seen with her and drinking and driving. There may be a few bolos out.

And if you think that’s intense, that’s not even half of it.

LaPrad’s physical threats

According to court filings, LaPrad

[T]hreatened to cut [Martin’s] balls off, made repetitive comments to [Martin] that she would not honor his requests to cease contact, sent emails and text messages that [Martin] believed demonstrated an intent to terrorize [Martin], and put him in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. [LaPrad] continued to pursue pattern of behavior intending to terrorize [Martin].

The filings further allege that Martin had reason to believe that LaPrad intended to harm him, and that LaPrad communicated the following physical threats to Martin either in person, by email, or by text message:

  1. “And if I do see you around Davidson or anywhere for that matter with another woman or if you even sit beside another woman at lunch, dinner, whatever it may be, I will cut your balls off, especially after all the times you cheated on me.”
  2. “I’m just trying to figure out which girl you left with tonight because when I find out who you are cheating on me with, see previous text.” (referencing above text message in which LaPrad threatened to “cut [Martin’s] balls off”)
  3. “When something happens to you, the girl you’re seeing, or her family, you will be the cause of it.”

Emotional and psychological torment

There is more. The court documents also say Martin “fe[lt] harassed not only by the sheer volume of communication he [had] receive[d from LaPrad], but by the content of the messages,” explaining that he had been “emotionally and psychologically tormented” by the following threats communicated by LaPrad:

  1. “And after everything you have done to me and after how horribly you’ve treated me and continue to treat me, I wouldn’t test me …. You will be miserable and that’s what you deserve for the way you treated me.”
  2. “I think that’s fair, to treat you the way you are treating me. And if at any point in time, you want the hell to stop, you can talk to me.”
  3. “I know you plan your dates at work, but how sweet to love on her before work. I’ll just have to hack your phone records like you did my email account to find out who she is …. “
  4. “I’m closing next week. Full approval finalized today! I’m sorry this does not make you happy. I’m not moving for you, I’m moving for me. If you change your attitude, change the way you treat me, and plan a time to chat with me, everything will be fine. If you chose [sic] not to do the above, then it won’t work out. See above texts. I’m sorry, it really is in your hands.” (referring to LaPrad’s moving into a condominium located 200 yards from Martin’s residence)
  5. “If you … indeed truly want things to get better, then you’ll stop making me miserable and you’ll sit down and talk to me at some point this week. If you want things to get worse, then you won’t. The choice really is up to you but this is the absolute last chance, and if you don’t talk, trust me, you’ll regret it.”
  6. “[I]f I do see you around Davidson or anywhere for that matter with another woman or if you even sit beside another woman at lunch, dinner, whatever it may be or even talking to another woman, it will not be pleasant. In a month, you will be begging for a truce, but in a month, it will be too late. Think about this now.”

Stalking allegations

“Why stop there?” Jamie LaPrad thought to herself, perhaps. According to Martin’s complaint, LaPrad also communicated several statements which indicated she was stalking him. The complaint states: “The fact that [Martin] is being followed by a mentally unstable woman leaves [him] fearful for the safety of himself, his family, and any other people with whom he associates.”

The complaint then lists these statements that LaPrad communicated to Martin:

  1. “Oh and you’re on the phone with your little slut now so you can adequately warn her.”
  2. “If you want to bring some other woman into it and her children then that’s up to you but I’ll make you and her and possibly her children just as miserable as you’ve made me.”
  3. “Oh your [sic] on the phone with your girlfriend. Well if you are planning your dates for Thursday or this week, I would think twice about that. … And if you think that’s intense, that’s not even half of it.”
  4. “So your new gf is from South Carolina. Thanks for the info[.]” (LaPrad was at Martin’s residence, and Martin had a visitor whose vehicle was parked in his driveway with South Carolina registration plates)

Threats to Martin’s children

The complaint also alleges that LaPrad threatened to harass Martin’s young children (it lists two children, both under ten-years-old) in a message that stated:

And since you’ve done everything in your power to turn the kinds [sic] against me, I’ll make sure law enforcement shows up at your house re the hacking into my email when you have the kids so they will know the real truth about their daddy. The daddy they would rather not be with.

Pornographic images of LaPrad

To top things off, according to the complaint, LaPrad further harassed Martin “by sending him multiple text messages and emails containing pornographic images of herself.”

All the while, Jamie LaPrad was representing the State of North Carolina in criminal proceedings.

Copies of the filings are below.

Martin v. LaPrad

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