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Jury finds Roanoke man not guilty of woman’s murder, abduction

Courtesy Roanoke City
Courtesy Roanoke City(Roanoke City)
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 5:40 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A jury in Roanoke City Circuit Court this week found a Roanoke man not guilty of a woman’s murder in early 2020.

Michael Terry was charged in December of last year with the murder, abduction and attempted rape of Cassandra Pizzi, 33.

According to Roanoke Police, Pizzi’s body was found late March of 2020 in the 1000 block of 4th Street SE in a wooded area.

In mid-December of 2020, Terry was arrested in connection with her death. According to Roanoke Police, Terry was arrested without conflict with the help of the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Task Force

Search warrants revealed police believed Pizzi’s body was moved from a parking lot on 4th St. across pavement to a bushy area. Police obtained surveillance video from a business in the area showing two people walking around the area the body was near around 1:55 a.m. March 27. Police also reported using a Geofence data search to find devices in the area of the homicide during the time of the crime. According to the search warrant, data showed subscriber information to a device tag that led police to Terry.

Following a two-day jury trial Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Terry was found not guilty on all three charges.

His attorney, Rob Dean, said in a statement to WDBJ7:

“Mr. Terry has always maintained his innocence in this case and he is relieved by the jury’s verdict today, so that he can go home to his family. He prays for the family of Cassandra Starr Pizzi and hopes that the authorities will continue to investigate her death. Her family deserves to know what happened that night. -Rob Dean”

WDBJ7 also reached out to the Roanoke Police Department to learn more about this case. A spokesperson for the department declined to comment.

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