Press-Republican

Local News

May 21, 2013

Woman 'very, very sorry' for stabbing

MALONE — A Fort Covington woman who stabbed her Alzheimer’s-inflicted boyfriend with a paring knife will spend five years in state prison.

Joan F. Terrell, 64, of 2556 Chateaugay St., said she was “very, very sorry” for stabbing Wayne Henault, 64, during the July 30 incident in the home they shared.

She pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and first-degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person.

Franklin County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr. sentenced her to five years on the assault charge and 1½ to 4½ years in prison for the endangerment count. 

He ordered the terms to be served concurrently and that Terrell also serve three years of post-release supervision.

She was also ordered to pay $375 in court fees and surcharges, and an order of protection was issued for Henault to expire April 1, 2026.

‘RELIED ON HIS BENEFITS’

District Attorney Derek Champagne said Terrell is narcissistic and had already been shown compassion and mercy because she could have faced a higher-grade, violent felony charge for her actions.

He urged Main to sentence her to the maximum seven years on each count, saying she knew she could not handle caring for Henault in his condition but did not want him in nursing-home care because she relied on his disability check.

Public Defender Thomas Soucia said his client has a seventh-grade education, a problem with alcohol and mental-health issues of her own.

“She’s not young; she’s 64 years old. Seven years in state prison is a death sentence,” he said. 

“I believe she is an excellent candidate for probation” through which she could continue to receive mental-health care in the community. 

‘CREDIBILITY SUSPECT’

The judge said he was concerned about the conflicting statements Terrell gave police investigators.

One story she had told was that Henault was attempting to climb the stairs to his bedroom while drunk as she followed behind and that he fell back onto the knife she happened to be carrying.

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