By Dear Editor:
Published: October 21, 2010
(The Morning News, Florence, SC)
I am the brother of Teresa Hanna. My sister Teresa was murdered by her husband, Davy Hanna, and his brother, Darry Hanna, in Johnsonville. Her murder was investigated by Investigator Phil Hanna of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and Capt. Kin McKenzie of the State Law Enforcement Division. Teresa’s murder was prosecuted in state court by the solicitor, Ed Clements III. Later there was a federal court trial. I want to set the record straight about the trials.
I sat through the trial in state court. I watched Ed Clements fight aggressively and tirelessly to convict the Hanna brothers. I watched the jury and I knew Ed had the case won. It shocked me when the judge refused to allow the jury to decide the case. After the trial I spoke with several jurors who informed me they would have convicted the Hannas.
Ed recognized the injustice suffered by Teresa, my family and me. He told me our only shot at justice was in federal court because of double jeopardy. Ed arranged for me to speak with Assistant U.S. Attorney Johnny Gasser. Only Darry Hanna was tried in federal court because Teresa’s husband committed suicide before he could be tried.
I sat through the trial in federal court and saw Mr. Gasser convict Darry Hanna because the judge allowed the jury to decide the case. Mr. Gasser was the prosecutor and Rose Mary Parham assisted him. Had the jury in state court been allowed to decide the case my family and I would not have had to suffer through two trials. I appreciate all that Ms. Parham did to help Mr. Gasser convict Darry Hanna.
Mrs. Parham wants Ed’s job as solicitor and blames him for losing the state court trial and takes credit for winning the federal court trial. Neither is true and it is not right for her to make these claims. Mrs. Parham was a good federal prosecutor but has exaggerated her role in my sister’s case. She claims my sister’s case was mishandled in state court; it was not. I was there and I know. Ed Clements did not lose the case and Mrs. Parham did not win the case.
There would have been no conviction in federal court without Ed Clements. There would have been no justice for my family without Ed Clements. This is the reason my wife and I are voting to re-elect Ed Clements as solicitor.