Corbett signs death warrant for Terry Chamberlain
Governor Tom Corbett has signed a death warrant for a man convicted of a 1991 murder in Bradford County.
Terry Ray Chamberlain, 60, of Gillett, was found guilty of the Aug. 1991 murders of his estranged wife, Sherri Chamberlain, and her boyfriend, Gregory Inman, in May 1994, according to a release from the governor's office. Chamberlain was accused of shooting both multiple times, including an execution-style shot to the head, the release reads.
Chamberlain was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder on May 13, 1994 in Bradford County Court of Common Pleas by a local jury of seven men and five women. The jury also found Chamberlain guilty of burglary, as well as possession of an instrument of a crime.
The trial took over two weeks to complete and was prosecuted by Joseph McGettingan, who at that time was a member of the state attorney general's office. McGettingan was assisted by then-Bradford County District Attorney Robert Fleury. Terry Chamberlain was represented by Wilkes-Barre attorney John Moses, and assisted by attorney R. Joseph Landy of Sayre.
During the trial, McGettingan contended that Terry Chamberlain had "economic motives" in wanted to kill his estranged wife. Testimony indicated that Terry and Sherri Chamberlain had been separated for two years at the time of the killings, and Sherri Chamberlain could now file for a "no-fault" divorce under Pennsylvania law. An expert witness called by the prosecution indicated that Terry Chamberlain would receive any community property he shared with his wife, if Sherri Chamberlain died before the divorce was finalized.
By contrast, the defense argued during the trial that there was no physical evidence to tie Terry Chamberlain to the murder, and the crime scene contained a number of items - such as unidentified fingerprints and a footprint - that investigators could not explain.
During the trial, neighbor Kimberly Ulrich of South Creek Township testified that Sherri Chamberlain telephoned her in the early morning hours of Aug. 22, 1991, saying "Get an ambulance! Terry shot Greg and me!" Ulrich called county dispatch which recorded her conversation at 2:24 a.m. Jurors later listened to the recording of the conversation, in which Ulrich informed the authorities of the situation.
A short time later, Vaughn Ulrich, Kimberly Ulrich's husband, went to the nearby residence of Sherri Chamberlain and Gregory Inman in South Creek Township, who later testified that he found their lifeless bodies at the shooting scene. Vaughn Ulrich informed the jury that there was a "smell of gunpowder and blood" inside the residence.
Testimony from another witness during the trial indicated that Terry Chamberlain attempted to purchase a large caliber pistol a few months before the shooting occurred. Witnesses informed the jury that Terry Chamberlain had rejected the idea of purchasing the pistol from a store - that he wanted to purchase something from a private individual that could not be traced.
Later in the trial, state police Trooper Albert Ogden testified that he and others had investigated the crime scene, and then later picked up Terry Chamberlain at his residence around 4:10 a.m. When he took Chamberlain into custody, Chamberlain explained, he noted that the defendant was "meticulous ... immaculately clean, right down to his fingernails. Ogden also informed the jury that Terry Chamberlain had a "scrubbed" appearance and smelled of "shampoo, fresh deodorant and soap," and the underside of his hair was "damp."
As part of the defense, Moses called witnesses to the stand, who testified that they heard another party threaten to shoot the two victims several weeks before the killings occurred.
The jury deliberated about five-and-a-half hours before returning two sentences of death by lethal injection.
Chamberlain was also sentenced to five to 10 years confinement for the burglary charge and two and a half to five years for possessing an instrument of crime in July 1994, according to court information.
Chamberlain filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court, which upheld the convictions and sentences in October 2011, according to information filed with the court. An application for reargument was denied in December 2011.
Chamberlain is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 9, according to the governor's office. He is currently incarcerated at the state correctional facility in Greene.