“That day, my life changed,” said Larry Terrell about his 34-year-old son Tekilum Terrell. “I lost my lifeline. I’ve got a hole in my heart.”
Tekilum “T” Terrell died early in the morning of April 7 after being shot at Milo’s Bar near the intersection of Powder Springs Street and Garrison Road.
Larry Terrell didn’t know about his son’s death until after he received a phone call about the shooting and arrived at WellStar Kennestone Hospital just after 8 a.m.
“I’ve saved a few things we shared together, old football tickets, receipts,” he said. “I don’t have anything left to hold onto.”
Another thing the father has kept is $26 in dollar bills that are covered in his son’s blood from the night of the killing.
“I can’t spend that bloody money,” he said. “That’s the only thing to connect me to him that’s left.”
The father-son duo went on trips together, specifically to Biloxi, Miss., and Las Vegas to play blackjack, attended several Atlanta Falcons football games and held family barbecues on the weekends.
“That was our father-son time,” he said. “And now he’s dead because some idiots — grown people who should know right from wrong — took him away from me.”
Three people were arrested a few days after the incident.
Joseph Ricky Hampton and his wife, Trina Lesley Chatman were charged with murder during the commission of a felony and aggravated assault. They were denied a bond during a hearing last week.
The third person accused in the case is Hampton’s cousin, 42-year-old Dennis Lee Hampton.
He is the alleged shooter and has been charged with aggravated assault, murder, murder during the commission of a crime and possession of a weapon by a felon.
They all remain in the Cobb County Jail without bond, and magistrate judges have found probable cause to continue their cases.
On Tuesday, Larry Terrell, his son’s mother and a handful of other family and friends were at the jail for a “no bond” hearing for Dennis Hampton.
“They took my life away, and I do believe they should be punished to the fullest,” the father said.
Larry Terrell said he would like for Dennis Hampton to be sentenced to death and for Chapman and Joseph Hampton to be imprisoned for life.
“They succeeded at what they were trying to do. … in killing him,” Larry Terrell said. “I don’t ever want to see these three on the streets again.”
The indictments have not been filed, nor has a trial date been set.