Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Like The Thin Blue Line and Paradise Lost, An Ordinary Crime tells the story of mistaken identity, false witnesses, and the possible incarceration of an innocent person. On April 25, 1997, three men robbed the Quality Finance Company in Johnston County, NC, severely wounding secretary Alice Wise. When the police arrested Kendrick Henderson and Richard Keith Riddick, they admitted to the robbery and named a third accomplice -- the gunman -- as Terrance, who was Riddick's cousin from New York. When the Johnston County detectives found a photo of 16-year-old Terence Garner on file, the Quality Finance manager identified him as the shooter. Garner denied committing the crime, and both Riddick and Henderson eventually realized that the wrong person had been arrested (though Riddick testified against him for a reduced sentence). Although testimony by Wise led to Garner's conviction, family members and local reporters remained convinced of his innocence. An Ordinary Crime includes interviews with Wise, Riddick, Henderson, and local officials.