I continued to hang out after the farm hand and I split ways. This particular day, the therapist had arrived to talk with the older Terpening children. I spent a couple hours hanging out with three of the younger Terpening children during this time. We had a blast.
Jamie was out trying to get one of her vehicles fixed, so I had not seen her at all during the two days I was at the Terpening farm, 3/22/12 and 3/23/12. I was supposed to return to the farm on the 24th to help muck stalls, as I had agreed I would come for another stall mucking "party"...lol.
Break: for the record, the last stall mucking party was fun. We all had bonded some and were joking around and cracking jokes. I even accidentally flung horse doo-doo in Jamie's face. I wish I could muck stalls with her again. I'd fling more.
Jamie and her husband were there, as were a few teenagers. Some former residents still hang out at the Terpening farm, for example Matt XXXX. They have had no place to go and been staying out there some. He says Reigh is lying, but if he has no place else to go, then what the hell is he supposed to say? Jamie still runs the show out there. Who dares stand up to Jamie Moore Bell? Certainly not Matt XXXX, and certainly not her sons, and certainly not Susan Ward Gillihan.
And certainly not Rodney.
I came home feeling sick over my conversation with the farm hand. When I came into the house, I knocked on Reigh's bedroom door and asked him if he could come out so I could talk to him. I had been praying the whole ride home from Bellevue. I was not sure which course of action to take yet, but I knew I need to talk to Reigh.
Reigh joined me and sat down. I told him what happened with the farm hand and the conversation that took place. I explained to Reigh that I really needed him to be honest with me. He agreed. I then proceeded to ask him one question, "Reigh, were you having consensual sexual relations with Michael?" He looked at me and responded, "Yes, I did. For awhile."
I am usually not at a loss for words.
I did not know what to say. I did not know what to believe or to think. I felt like someone hit me in the stomach with a ball bat.
I asked Reigh why he didn't tell me sooner. He responded with that he hadn't trusted me yet. He told me he was grateful he had a place to stay and he finally felt safe to move forward. He told me the recant did not matter, that the prosecution had enough evidence to hang Michael, that really, all this other stuff was irrelevant.
Reigh went on to tell me he was not going to cooperate with the prosecution because he wanted it to happen and did not want the kids to lose their father or Mrs. Terpening. He said he knew what it felt like to grow up without a father. At this point, Reigh asked me what I thought of him now, because he had continued lying to me. I told him I saw him just the same, a guy with a wicked childhood with a great deal of potential.
I also told him if what he was saying is true, then Terpening should answer for his actions. Terpening had been entrusted with foster children, to provide them with a certain level of care that had not been provided for them in their past.
Talk about a major meltdown. The dam broke in Reigh and his emotions unleashed. He has had a lot to say about Terpening and this case, his whole side of the story. Little did I know the transcripts from the September preliminary examination were a couple days away from going public...