Memorial services for Trina Winston will be held this Saturday—days before her relatives learn the fate of her accused killer.
After three days of testimony, the murder trial of Winston’s husband, Tarrence Lee, ended today without a final decision on his guilt or innocence.
Since it’s a bench trial and there is no jury involved, there was no immediate decision made.
The judge did say he would rule as soon as possible, and then set an appointment to announce his decision for Wednesday, November 21st at 11:00 a.m.
If Tarrence Lee is found guilty of murdering his wife next week, that will won’t be enough to bring a true sense of justice for the family of the victim. “By sitting through the courts we found out a lot more information,” said Trina Winston’s sister, Cecelia Winston. “But we just want to know why ‘they’ are still walking around, they’re murderers too.”
In this case, ‘they’ refers to three-free-men who testified at trial, who were enlisted by Lee to help put the victim’s body in the trunk of a car and dispose of the corpse behind a vacant home in Illinois.
There, the body sat for some two months before being discovered by a gas meter reader. “Why haven’t they been arrested? We want justice, we not gonna rest, we not gonna let this rest, until everybody’s locked up,” said Cecelia Winston.
“She just garbage,” added Sharon Lax, a niece of Trina Winston. “You took her, and you dumped her in a field where a dog wouldn’t even want to be left at.”
The prosecution today argued that Trina Winston was last seen alive leaving a friend’s home and getting into a car with Tarrence Lee. While she told her friends she would return, she never did.
The defense countered that the only witness to claim that Lee confessed to Winston’s death was someone with a previous conviction for False Informing.
The Tarrence Lee now on trial is simply not the man Winston’s relatives remember meeting. “But when I met him (Lee), oh it was, ‘God this, and God that, I do everything with God in my heart, I teach the word,’” said Sheila Winston-Redding, Trina’s sister.
For a while the family chose to believe even though it knew full well about Lee’s past and the two murder convictions from 1986 that kept Lee in prison until 2006.
“We just want justice, we want this man to be put away for the rest of his life,” said Sharon Lax. “No more deals to be made for him to get back out on the streets and murder once again.”
The case against Lee is largely circumstantial. No one witnessed the murder at the couple’s Hickory Village apartment and since it was allegedly a strangulation, there was no blood evidence left behind.
However, the defense today had no explanation for a key aspect of the case: The allegation that Lee dumped his wife's body in the yard of an abandoned home in Illinois.
“Why would he go hide her, why would he take her to Illinois and cover her up if she passed out and died or whatever, you call 9-1-1,” said Sheila Winston-Redding.