Tahlequah Daily Press

October 10, 2012

Wife of man charged with child abuse accused of perjury

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Felony perjury charges were formally filed Tuesday against a woman who allegedly contradicted herself while testifying in a child sexual abuse case last month.

Terry D. Begay, 47, of Tahlequah, allegedly told the court she would “plead the Fifth” during the jury trial of her husband, Stacey Garrett Begay, 47. District Judge Darrell Shepherd granted Terry Begay immunity from prosecution, but she later took the stand and claimed she had no recollection of certain events.

When jurors began their deliberations in Stacey Begay’s case the following day, Shepherd told Terry Begay it was “clear you were not telling the truth,” and had her taken into custody and held on a $10,000 bond for perjury. Jurors later returned a guilty verdict against Stacey Begay and recommended he receive a 30-year sentence. Stacey admitted in a written statement he had sex with his adopted 16-year-old daughter 10 times or more in a span of a few months.

Assistant District Attorney B.J. Baker told jurors the Begays wanted the sex abuse case to be “swept under the rug.” After Terry Begay claimed she could not recall certain events, the court allowed her previous testimony from a preliminary hearing to be read to jurors.

Contradicting statements as perjury is a felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

Terry Begay has been ordered to make her initial appearance Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. Shepherd has recused himself from the case, and is listed, along with Baker, as a witness for the state.