EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - For the first time since learning a jury decided Terrence Roach is not guilty of murdering Aleah Beckerle, we are hearing from his attorney, Glenn Grampp.
Grampp tells us he is satisfied with the verdict. He thinks the jury followed the evidence and did the right thing.
Grampp applauds the jury for its hard work. They deliberated for 11 hours, which he notes is longer than it took to present all of the evidence.
Grampp told us this jury asked more questions than any jury he has ever seen before. We saw that Wednesday when two hours into deliberation the jury returned to the courtroom to ask the judge about a decision deadline and reviewing video evidence.
That was when everyone had to leave the courtroom for hours while the jury meticulously re-watched Roach talking with detectives and his mom. Grampp says he was troubled by the detective's testimony and the prosecution's approach.
"You have a set of known facts over here. You have a confession over here. The same elements of this confession do not match the facts that we know to be true. I would think that that would really bother me a lot," says Grampp.
We reached out to the Prosecutor's Office again Friday, but Prosecutor Nick Hermann was unavailable to talk. We did speak with the office Thursday.
In our conversation Friday, Grampp went into much more detail about the evidence, his strategy in the trial, and what he thinks happened to Aleah.
Grampp talked about how this case was unlike others he has tried in the past. There were more spectators than usual, and of course, we know the reaction after the verdict was strong and extremely emotional.
Grampp says he left the courtroom quickly after that verdict and headed outside to talk with Roach's mom. He described her reaction as elated because she was worried her son potentially faced more than 70 years in prison.
He does not think Roach fully understood the possible consequences, but now with guilty verdicts on just the charges of criminal confinement and abuse of a corpse, Roach will get a much lighter sentence between 3 and 18 years.
Grampp says he does not like to speak for the jury but has an idea how they reached their decision.
"I'm not going to sit here and try to figure out what they thought, but I have to in my mind believe that at the end of the day they did not believe that Terrence Roach abducted that child. I think they think he had some complicity in it, and that's what resulted in the verdicts," says Grampp.
Terrence Roach let his attorney and the initial interviews with detectives decide his fate. That was his choice, but Grampp advised him not to take the stand.
Detectives got a confession nine hours into their first interrogation, but Roach changed his story many times. The jury did not see that video.
"He spends about 4 hours saying that he went to Cara Beckerle's home to smoke dope with her. When he got there she told him that Aleah Beckerle had died. He tells that story for about 4 hours then he begins to change the story at the end of that. Then he gives that second statement. If I would have put him on the witness stand all he could have said the same thing and the jury already heard it," says Grampp.
Grampp gives detectives credit, saying they did everything right in collecting evidence, but in his opinion, the evidence did not point to Roach.
In the courtroom, Grampp likened it to trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. He says one detail that raised a red flag was the protein drinks.
Aleah used them after a prior surgery.
"Somebody on the day she was reported missing takes it from inside the house, puts it on the porch, and the next day they find it in the trash. Common sense tells you somebody in that house knew she wasn't coming back. So that just amazed me that they never focused on that. They being the police," says Grampp.
So if not Roach then who? Grampp says it does not matter what he thinks, but after investing a year in this case, he has an opinion.
"I think Aleah Beckerle died in her home. That's what I think. I don't think she was abducted in her lifetime. I think she passed away and then whatever happened after that happened after that," says Grampp.
Even after the verdict, police say they are still confident that Roach is responsible. They say they investigated thousands of leads and ruled out anyone else who could have been involved.
The theories are still spiraling, and police say they will act on any new and different information they receive.