RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – A man from Guilford County who escaped the death penalty for murdering his former girlfriend is being considered for parole from his life sentence in prison.

Terry Lynn Jordan is serving life after being convicted of first-degree murder on Aug. 21, 1991, in Guilford County Superior Court.

Terry L. Jordan (NC DPS)

He could be the next person released under a program created to consider those convicted before Oct. 1, 1994. The North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission is considering releasing Jordan through its Mutual Agreement Parole Program, which is a scholastic and vocational process that is completed and reviewed in a three-way agreement among the commission, the Division of Prisons and the offender.

The commission will gather information from persons who may be for and against Jordan’s parole and consider the facts of the case before making its decision. That can include gathering public comment on whether that parole should be granted.

If approved, Jordan would have to complete the specifications of MAPP, which can take months or even years before a release date might be set.

North Carolina abolished parole in cases involving murder and rape as of Oct. 1, 1994, and the commission is charged with considering the parole for offenders who were sentenced under guidelines before that date.

Compassion for child

Jordan, 53, barely avoided the death penalty when a jury in High Point found him guilty on Aug. 21, 1991, seven months after he was accused of shooting his former girlfriend and leaving her to die, on Jan. 10, 1991.

Jordan was convicted of shooting Kimela Denise Hewett, 20, of Windley Street in High Point three times in the back and head with a handgun and leaving her on the sidewalk outside her home, the News & Record reported. She died hours later.

Prosecutors proved that Jordan was jealous because of a broken relationship with Hewett, had been accused of assaulting her previously and had planned the crime.

Jordan avoided the death penalty, one juror said, because of compassion for Jordan’s 7-year-old son. Jordan had pleaded with jurors to “show sympathy to the family” and spare his life.

There were no other charges in the shooting, and Jordan has no prior history of incarceration as an adult in North Carolina.

The MAPP program

The commission’s announcement says that MAPP is a “scholastic and vocational program” that is a 3-way agreement among the commission, the Division of Prisons and the offender.

To be part of the MAPP program, an inmate must show a desire to improve educational and training programs and a self-improvement process. There is a 3-year walk-up to release that, the MAPP website states, requires the inmate:

  • To be in medium or minimum custody.
  • Not to be subject to a detainer or pending court action that could result in further confinement.
  • To be infraction-free for a period of 90 days before being recommended.
  • If sentenced under the Fair Sentencing Act, to be eligible for 270-day parole or community-service parole.

The program also stipulates that “there should be a recognizable need on the part of the inmate for involvement in the MAPP program and the inmate should express a desire to participate in improving educational achievements, learning skills, personal growth programs and modifying specific behavior.”

Jordan, most recently housed at the Forsyth Correctional Center in Winston-Salem, has 11 infractions on his record but none since June 2020, when he was cited for fighting. He has three citations for substance possession and two for weapon possession.

If you want to comment on the consideration of Jordan’s release, you can call the commission at 919-716-3010.