published Monday, March 4th, 2013

Alabama minister out of hospital, jailed on murder count

  • photo
    This jail booking photo taken Monday, March 4, 2013 in Birmingham, Ala., shows the Rev. Terry Greer, who is charged with murder in the gunshot killing of his wife and attempted murder in the wounding of their daughter. Police in Gardendale, Ala., say Greer was hospitalized for nearly two months after the shootings because of self-inflicted knife wounds. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriff's Department)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

By JAY REEVES

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama pastor accused of killing his wife and wounding their daughter was released from a hospital and jailed today on a murder charge, nearly two months after police say he shot the women and tried to stab himself to death.

The Rev. Terry Greer was transferred from UAB Hospital to the Jefferson County Jail.

Greer, 54, was held without bond, accused of the gunshot slaying of wife Lisa Greer and the attempted murder of daughter Suzanna Greer, who has recovered.

Greer remains a United Methodist pastor, but is suspended from duties.

An attorney for Greer did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. The lawyer, Henry Lagman, previously said Greer was experiencing a “perfect storm” of personal and professional problems before the Jan. 10 shootings, which occurred at a church-owned home near Birmingham in Gardendale.

Greer was serving as pastor at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist at the time. Greer, who came to the suburban Birmingham church in 2011 after serving eight years at a church in Decatur, suffered serious health problems last fall and was on medical leave before the shootings occurred.

Authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said Greer’s tenure at the Decatur church has been under review as part of the shooting investigation. Officials with the denomination declined comment.

Greer, who pastored a large church and was prominent among north Alabama Methodists, was known for an outgoing personality and cheerfulness.

A booking photograph released by the jail showed Greer, unsmiling, in need of a shave and thinner than in previous pictures. A white bandage on his throat covered an area typically used to insert a breathing tube.

Lagman, in previous online posts that detailed Greer’s injuries and recovery, said the minister had 17 stab wounds in the chest, four of which were “significant.” Greer underwent operations and physical therapy before doctors determined he was well enough to leave the hospital.

In his last online message about Greer, posted on Feb. 20, Lagman said Greer’s “psychological issues have not been addressed until this week.” Lagman did not elaborate and said he could not release additional information because of court proceedings.

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