State of Missouri v. Terrance L. Anderson

SC83680 Supreme Court Opinion

On the night of July 25, 1997, Terrance Anderson went to the Poplar Bluff home of his girlfriend, Abbey Rainwater, with a gun. Earlier in the day, she had told him that she had gotten a restraining order to keep him away from her and their three-month-old daughter and that visitation would be arranged through the court. Anderson kicked in the door, and Abbey’s mother, Debbie, told her to run. Debbie, who was holding the child, got on her knees and begged for her life, but Anderson placed the gun against the back of Debbie’s head and fired it, killing Debbie instantly. Anderson subsequently took the child and went into the front yard. He pointed the gun at the baby’s head and yelled that he would shoot if Abbey did not come out.¬†After Abbey’s father, Stephen, came home, Anderson approached Stephen, began talking to him, and shot Stephen in the forehead, killing him. Anderson still was holding the child at the time.

Anderson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and was tried in Cape Girardeau County on a change of venue from Butler County. The jury found him guilty of both counts and recommended that he be sentenced to death for killing Debbie Rainwater and to life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole for killing Stephen Rainwater.

The court imposed the recommended sentences, and Anderson appeals.