Accused dies; assault case dismissed

Vancouver man, 71, was to stand trial in shooting of his son

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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An assault charge filed against William Wayne Terry — a Vancouver father who allegedly shot his adult son during an argument on Memorial Day — was dismissed earlier this month because Terry died.

The 71-year-old man had been in custody at the Clark County Jail but was transported to a local hospital. He died there of natural causes, Clark County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brent Waddell said.

Terry was to be tried on one count of first-degree domestic violence assault Nov. 27 in Clark County Superior Court.

Deputy Prosecutor Luka Vitasovic said he received an email Nov. 9 from a fellow prosecutor informing him of Terry’s death. The case was dismissed without prejudice Nov. 14 — meaning it could be re-filed at a later date. However, that scenario is unlikely given the circumstance.

Terry, who went by Wayne, was accused of shooting his 50-year-old son, Mark Christopher Terry, at the elder Terry’s home in the Vancouver Heights neighborhood.

Vancouver police arrived about 11:40 a.m. and found Mark Terry, who lived in a trailer on the property, outside his father’s house suffering from a gunshot wound to his abdomen, according to court records. His father was inside and refused to come out, police said.

In an interview with a detective, Wayne Terry said he and his son had argued over food and money. Mark Terry left the house, locked the door on his way out and then kicked in the front door to re-enter the residence, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Wayne Terry said he kept a handgun and money on the second shelf of an end table. He thought his son was reaching for the firearm, but instead, he reached for the money — about $200, the affidavit states.

As Mark Terry walked away, Wayne Terry shot him, the court document said.

At the time, the elder Terry reportedly told the detective he shot his son “because he had enough of Mark’s behavior,” according to court records.