Jury finds ex-professor not guilty of making meth on campus

October 28, 2021 GMT

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (AP) — A former Arkansas university professor accused of making methamphetamine on campus has been found not guilty.

Terry David Bateman was a professor at Henderson State University in November 2019 when he was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and using drug paraphernalia. A Clark County jury announced their verdict Wednesday after an hour of deliberation, KATV-TV reported.

Prosecutors said a safe in Bateman’s office contained vials of meth, but Bateman testified that it belonged to a second former professor accused in the case, Bradley Rowland, and that he had no knowledge of the safe’s contents.

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Bateman, who took the stand in his own defense on the final day of trial, testified that he has never made or used meth.

Rowland is scheduled to stand trial in November on the same charges. He testified Tuesday that he and Bateman manufactured meth in their laboratories. Clark County prosecutor Dan Turner confirmed during closing arguments that Rowland will be taking a plea deal. He is expected to face jail time and be ordered to pay restitution to the university.

Bateman’s family was visibly relieved at the decision.

“We started crying. We all started crying. We knew he was innocent,” said his mother, Jeanene Bateman.