Terry Lynn Fincher, a former resident of Clay County found guilty Wednesday morning of indecency with a child, has been sentenced to life in prison.
The 48-year-old Wichita Falls man will be eligible for parole in no less than 30 years. Fincher had been offered a 10-year plea agreement, but chose to go before a jury.
“I have to hand it to the jury,” said District Attorney Paige Williams. “They had a difficult decision to make, but they followed the law, and they followed it verbatim.”
Fincher received the maximum sentence because of prior convictions. Fincher pled guilty in the 89th District Court for indecency with a child on May 20, 1988 for an incident that occurred in Wichita County. Fincher served five years in prison. He was convicted for felony DWI — third or more offense — in the 97th District Court, Clay County, on Sept. 20, 2001.
During Tuesday’s testimony, witnesses said Fincher touched the genitals of the female victim on top of her clothing with his mouth. The victim also testified that Fincher reached into his pants while touching her. The incident occurred sometime around Aug. 22, 2010 while the girl was climbing a tree near a stock tank on a property owned by Fincher southwest of Henrietta.
The victim knew Fincher, and would sometimes help him collect eggs from the chicken coop and he would take care of her dog.
Allegations against Fincher came to light in October 2010 when the victim was questioned by her grandmother at a relative’s home in Oklahoma. According to testimony given by the grandmother, the victim had not been herself. The grandmother said the girl’s mother had noticed the victim holding a doll with its body around her face. It was at that time that the grandmother confronted the victim.
“She acted as if something had been lifted off her shoulders, as if she didn’t have to be scared anymore,” the grandmother said.
The family first reported the crime in Oklahoma, where they were told to contact authorities in Texas. She was interviewed at Patsy’s House, a children’s advocacy center in Wichita Falls, after which Child Protective Services referred the case to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
The sentencing portion of the trial came Wednesday afternoon, following Tuesday’s testimony and closing arguments Wednesday morning. A jury deliberated for two hours, 20 minutes before finding Fincher guilty.