A 3rd District Court jury deliberated for nearly eight hours before it found Terry Wayne Perdue guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his former roommate.
The Utah State Prison parolee was convicted of the October 1988 killing of Jerry Kadell Hermansen, 24, of Sandy. The jury returned the guilty verdict Wednesday afternoon after deliberating for several hours Tuesday night and throughout most of Wednesday morning.Sentencing was set for Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Frank G. Noel.
Apparently, the jury did not believe closing arguments by defense attorney Andy Valdez that Perdue, 26, was acting in self-defense when he shot Hermansen near 1300 South and 5000 West.
"Put yourself in the same situation. You would have made the same move that Mr. Perdue did," he told members of the jury. "It was a fight for survival. People have an inherent right to survive in this country."
Perdue told investigators Hermansen called him on Oct. 19, 1988, and asked him to pick him up from a tavern. They then went to a landfill, where they took drugs and fired weapons for target practice.
The two were apparently discussing money Perdue reportedly owed Hermansen for cocaine while Hermansen was loading a gun. He said Hermansen then took the defendant's car keys from him and refused to return them unless he was paid.
Valdez said Perdue believed his life was in danger, a struggle ensued and he shot Hermansen in self-defense.
But prosecutor Rick MacDougall balked at the defense's position. "Where is the evidence to indicate it was a battle for survival?" he said. "Where's the battle? It's kind of one-sided, isn't it? The victim simply absorbs the bullets and dies."
MacDougall said Perdue intentionally and knowingly shot Hermansen three times and "left him there to die without even checking to see if he was still alive."