It’s the second chance that most convicted felons sentenced to life in prison will never see. So when the day came for Terun Moore he knew he couldn’t let it go to waste.
WJTV 12’s Margaret-Ann Carter spoke exclusively with Moore who is dedicating his life to helping young men and women at risk of going down the same path he did.
Convicted of murder and sentenced to life behind bars without parole, 17-year-old Terun Moore saw light at the end of the tunnel. In 2012 when the supreme court ruled such a sentence for minors unconstitutional, Moore took his chance.
He says the night before he made parole he prayed and God told him the doors would open up, and he would be a free man. Moore then told his cell mate and hours later a knock came at the door for him.
“I went to the door and it was my case manager and they said you made parole, Terun you made it, you made it, and everybody was screaming and I told Floyd, he was woke, he was drinking coffee, and he said you told me, I said ‘man Jesus is real,” Moore became emotional recalling the moment he found out.
After 19 and a half years behind bars 17-year-old Terun Moore, a convicted murderer, grew into the man he is today.
While his life began the day he walked out of prison, his story begins on April 2nd, 1998 at Lake Hico Park.
“I was just in the neighborhood, just hanging with my normal guys that I hung with every day and basically they wanted me to participate in a robbery. My mind frame at the time was, I was just really loyal to some people who really did me no good in the end, so I did get involved and I ended up killing somebody,” he reluctantly recalled.
Blinded by peer pressure, Moore says he couldn’t see the consequences. It’s a common theme for so many young men he meets today.
“I had a lot of potential when I was young I still have a lot of potential, but more so then and I wasted that… so I be trying to stress to these guys don’t waste your potential in life, don’t blow your opportunity that you have don’t limit yourself,” Moore explained.
Working with Jackson’s People’s Advocacy Institute he and others work to reduce crime plaguing the capital city.
“I’ve been in those shoes, I understand that’s why I said we need love. It’s like people don’t value life no more, you know what I’m saying, it’s like a video game to them, like you can reset it over but you can’t,” he said.
Speaking from raw experience and deep regret Moore will never be able to bring back Michael Evans, the man who died at his hands.
However, by sharing his story he’s hoping to save lives, the life of the young man holding a loaded gun, and the unsuspecting victim in the line of fire.
“Light rules the darkness, so we keep shedding light on this situation, and we keep building, and I believe it’s going to make a way and things are going to get better around here,” Moore said.
In December, Moore will graduate from carpentry school, something he’s always wanted to accomplish.