Feticide charge likely in deaths

An Augusta man who faces murder charges in the deaths of three south Augusta family members Saturday is likely to be charged with feticide as well, District Attorney Danny Craig said Sunday.

The body of Allyson Pederson, 18, who was five months pregnant, was found burned beyond recognition off Lock and Dam Road near Augusta Regional Airport, Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said at a news conference Saturday.

Adrian Tywan "Goose" Hargrove, 30, of the 3500 block of Edgeworth Drive, remained in the Richmond County jail Sunday after being charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of Ms. Pederson; Andrew Hartley, 45; and his wife, Sharon Hartley, 46. The Hartleys' bodies were found at their home on Bennock Mill Road at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, police said.

Mr. Hargrove was arrested later Saturday near Richmond Hill and Bungalow roads, authorities said.

Sheriff Strength said it appeared the couple had been stabbed to death.

He said Sunday that police still had not clarified Ms. Pederson's relationship with Mr. Hargrove. He said it's believed the young woman is Mrs. Hartley's daughter and Mr. Hartley's stepdaughter.

Mr. Craig said that in Georgia someone can be charged with feticide if the fetus had reached at least 13 weeks' gestation.

"We're dealing with a separate crime altogether. Georgia law clearly recognizes the unborn child as a life separate from the mother," Mr. Craig said.

Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten said autopsies on the victims were scheduled for today at the Augusta Crime Lab on Phinizy Road.

Police were questioning Mr. Hargrove Sunday in an effort to determine a motive, Sheriff Strength said.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.