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Prosecutor: Honored father slain over drugs

An enlarged photograph of Terrell Pough and his 2-year-old daughter, Diamond Houston, is displayed for mourners Nov. 28 during a public memorial service for Pough in Philadelphia after he was gunned down.Joseph Kaczmarek / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

An 18-year-old man once honored as a dedicated father and exemplary student was gunned down over a drug debt, a prosecutor said.

The motive for Terrell Pough's slaying Nov. 17 had been unclear until Tuesday, when prosecutors at a hearing revealed an entirely different image of him as a drug dealer killed for failing to pay for 4 1/2 ounces of crack.

"A lot of people don't sell drugs out in the open, and you're always going to be on your best behavior in front of your family, your church, your teachers," prosecutor Carmen Lineberger said. "I'm sure this came as a surprise to a lot of people."

Pough was featured in People magazine in August as an outstanding father raising his 2-year-old daughter. Readers donated rent money and a car to get to work, and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team honored him at a game.

After Pough's death, the basketball team paid for a memorial service attended by about 200 people.

The man accused of shooting Pough in the head, Antoine Riggins, 20, told police that Pough had gone about two weeks without paying for the drugs, authorities said.

Pough's mother, Elizabeth, was removed from the hearing after screaming and cursing at Riggins and an accomplice.

"It's a lie! It's a lie!" she said.