Day Three

Michael Terpening 2003 ArrestWe will be posting information later on today, as well as links to media coverage! Hang in there, folks!

Sadly, the Terpening Followers have returned to old tricks of publishing the name of one of the victims online. The young man known as Resident B in the Department of Human Services report that took Earth Services license and first publically detailed the allegations against Michael Terpening became involved with Terpening Followers Susan Ward Gillihan, Jamie Moore Bell and (now former Follower) Jen.

The three Followers proceeding to record a video in the back seat of the car of the young man. They also connected the young man with local media outlets. Click here to read more about our coverage of the recant, see Michael Terpening commenting online (his only known publishing of comments under his own name) and find out what questions were raised by the recant that may serve to point toward Terpening's guilt.

Today in court the defense cross examined Brian, known as Resident A in the Department of Human Services report. The young man stuck to his story. The prosecutor called a number of witnesses including Department of Human Services workers for Resident A and Resident B followed by Christy S, a former supervisor of the Earth Services group home. The Assistant Attorney General was able to elicit testimony from Christy S to the effect she knew alleged child abuse must be reported to authorities immediately followed within 24 hours by a written report as Christy admitted this did not happen when Resident A reported to staff he was sexually abused by Michael Terpening. Not reporting abuse by child care workers is a crime in Michigan.

Christy told the jury she reported the abuse to another Earth Services supervisor and psychologist Sandra Burdick. From the DHS report we know Burdick also reportedly failed to report the suspected abuse. Burdick's sister, another Earth Services employee also a supervisor was also involved in the suspected abuse not being reported until the next day. Oddly enough Burdick's brother holds the title on a property Terpening is buying from her brother where Christy lived.  The home was one of two Terpening owned homes involved in separate fires this past February.

Having spent half the day in Hastings, I have to say I was surprised by the odd supporter behavior of the Terpening Followers. While I was in the court there were only a total of 11 of us in the gallery. Key Terpening Followers Judith Faye and Mike and Linda Timmons did not come to court, at all. The odd stuff was the number of Terpening Followers who spent the day in a conference room in the court house. Katie Rucinski seemed to be napping between sojourns around the court house grounds. Susan Ward Gillihan apparently rarely bothered to even leave the conference room.