Convicted killer grins, blows murder victim’s family a kiss before being sentenced to life in prison


MANSFIELD, LA – Terry Dewayne Powell was found guilty of the April 2021 murder of 75-year-old Lynda Palmer and the attempted murder of Matthew Yeager.

Prior to his sentencing, he looked at Palmer’s family, grinned and blew them a kiss.

In January, a jury found Powell guilty of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery.

At his recent sentencing, Powell made a scene and would not stop talking. The State District Judge, Amy Burford McCartney, ordered the now 20-year-old be removed from the courtroom.

Upon returning, McCartney rebuked the convicted murderer for his courtroom antics, calling them unacceptable. A roll of duct tape was seen on the bailiff’s desk as the judge addressed him.

“If you can’t stand silent, we will silence you.”

Palmer’s daughter, Hope Rascoe, spoke at the sentence hearing.

“She had many more years to live. She was stolen from us for no reason,” Rascoe said, calling her mom her best friend.

Aside from showing no remorse for his actions, it almost seems as though Powell was hoping to go to prison.

His trial started on a Wednesday morning and concluded the following day. He offered no defense at the trial.

Jurors saw surveillance video of what transpired on the night of April 12, 2021.

Palmer was working the front desk at the Best Western Plus Desoto Inn & Suites in Mansfield. Footage showed Powell entering the hotel and robbing it. Palmer can be shown handing cash to Powell.

As she began to move to a second register Powell shot her before leaving. He returned an hour later, encountering Yeager outside.

They can be seen going back into the building. Once inside, Powell attempted to rob the Texas man, who was staying at the hotel with co-workers. Like his earlier encounter with Palmer, Powell pulled the trigger and ran.

Yeager phoned 9-1-1 to report being shot. Mansfield police officers and DeSoto Parish sheriff’s deputies arrived within a matter of minutes.

The wounded man was found in the hallway after discovering Palmer’s body at the front desk.

Authorities immediately launched a manhunt for the gunman.

Powell was discovered a short time later, holed up in an abandoned apartment.

According to court records, Powell responded to a text while on the run.

“Yeah, I just did a murder.” 

When asked how police zeroed in on Powell, Mansfield’s assistant police chief Billy Locke said that it was tips from the community that pointed them to his hiding place.

Rascoe and her sister, Heather Palmer, asked the judge for a maximum sentence, saying that Powell should not feel “joy, sunshine or happiness ever again.”

The judge apparently agreed.

Powell was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Palmer. He also received 99 years for the armed robbery of Palmer. The judge tacked on 50 years for the attempted murder of Yeager as well as 49 1/2 years for that attempted robbery.

While the sentences will run concurrently, McCartney said that she viewed the crimes as separate given that there were two victims. So, the total sentence amounts to life in prison, plus 50 years, without the possibility of parole.

According to the Longview News-Journal:

“Palmer was well-known throughout the community. Most of her work life was spent in the retail business, particularly in jewelry sales in Shreveport and Mansfield. Her late husband, Joe Palmer, was a longtime respected educator.”


ST LOUIS, MO – When a convicted attempted murderer learned his fate in court, he warned his victims that he was not done with them, despite the two life sentences the judge handed down.

On December 29th, St. Louis County Judge Jason Dodson ordered Chicory Griffin to serve two consecutive life sentences for his convictions of multiple assault and weapons charges for attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend and her father in 2020.

Griffin did not say anything while court was in session, however, once court was adjourned, he allegedly became angry and shouted:

“This ain’t over!”

Of course, it is unknown exactly what Griffin meant when he said those words, but those in attendance took it as a threat – so much so that prosecutors ordered the threat be placed into the public record.

The cases that landed Griffin in prison for multiple decades occurred in February of 2020 when he argued with his ex-girlfriend in the 11000 block of Riaza Square.

During the argument, the ex-girlfriend became scared and attempted to flee from Griffin in her van. As she fled the area, Griffin fired multiple rounds into her van, but she escaped unharmed.

Almost three weeks later, the ex-girlfriend and her father were in her van near Lucas and Hunt Road when Griffin pulled next to them. Griffin again fired multiple rounds from his .9 mm into her vehicle.

While the ex-girlfriend escaped injury, her father was not so lucky.  He was hit several times and left paralyzed.

Police were able to track Griffin down two days after the second shooting and take him into custody after he led them on a high-speed chase.

Prosecutors noted that officers found a gun during his arrest and noted during trial that shell cases from both of the crime scenes matched Griffin’s firearm.

During the trial, St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell noted that Griffin had been recently arrested in a deadly shooting in St. Louis. Although he was arrested for whatever his alleged part was in the murder, he was never formally charged in the case.

Griffin was found guilty of attempting to shoot and kill both his ex-girlfriend and her father.

During the sentencing hearing, her father was able to speak about how Griffin’s actions have left him permanently changed.

He informed the court that he has lost his independence as a result of Griffin shooting him. He said that he is unable to play with any of his grandchildren, use the bathroom on his own, and has lost all sexual functions. He said:

“You [Griffin] took everything from me. And all over what? Nothing.”

Griffin’s ex-girlfriend also spoke out during the sentencing hearing, noting that she will now be able to move on and start over again now that he is gone. She informed him and everyone else that she is no longer afraid.

She said:

“You tried to play God, but now today is your judgment day. Today I start anew. Today I get my life back. I am no longer that scared little girl.”

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