Riley case ends in mistrial
By By MaryClaire Foster
Circuit Court Judge Bert Rice declared a mistrial in the case of Terry Riley Tuesday morning.
Riley was being tried for the April 19, 2008 murder of roommate Larry Howard.
Carter said a retrial is not definite and would be left up to the District Attorney’s office to determine if it was necessary and that no timeframe is set for when the DA has to decide whether to continue with the case.
As for Riley, Carter said “He remains out on bond and his presumption of innocence remains with him as it has throughout this process.”
Howard and Riley had both attended a neighbor’s party the night of the murder and Riley was the last known person to see Howard alive.
During the trial, Riley testified that after leaving the party he was walking home behind Howard when Howard turned in the direction of Alberta Riley’s trailer, Riley’s sister and a friend of Howard’s, and Riley continued to walk toward his own trailer.
Riley testified that after unlocking his front door, he turned and saw Howard staggering towards the front porch and assumed he was just intoxicated. Riley said Howard stopped at the bottom of the steps and stared at him, which prompted Riley to reach a hand out to Howard.
Riley said he then reached down to try and pick Howard up and noticed blood on Howard. He then went back to the neighbor’s house whose party they had attended to get help.
According to autopsy reports, Howard died from a single stab wound from a sharp object in the heart. A murder weapon was never recovered.
Escambia County District Attorney Steve Billy was unable to be reached for comment as of press time.