Hargrove guilty in 3 slayings



After nearly six hours of deliberation Friday, a Richmond County Superior Court jury found Adrian Hargrove guilty of all charges filed in a 2008 triple homicide.

The jury had the options of finding Hargrove guilty, not guilty, guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill and guilty but mentally retarded in the murders of 18-year-old Allyson Pederson and her parents Sharon and Andrew Hartley.

On Monday morning, the second phase of Hargrove’s trial begins. The jury will be asked to determine Hargrove’s punishment — life in prison with or without the possibility of parole or death.

In her closing argument Thursday, District Attorney Ashley Wright told jury members that Hargrove wiped out three generations of a single family in a span of a few hours on Feb. 9, 2008.

At the time of her death Pederson was pregnant with a daughter. The medical examiner told the jury that from the size of the baby’s foot, 3 centimeters, he determined she was 20 weeks old.

The jury also convicted Hargrove of feticide, kidnapping, burglary and three counts of possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

Hargrove’s defense team sought a verdict of guilty but mentally ill and guilty but mentally retarded, the second of which would have meant Hargrove wouldn’t face either life without the possibility of parole or death.

Starting Monday, the prosecutors will present evidence of aggravation and the defense team will present evidence of mitigation.

While the jury must find evidence of aggravation in order to impose a sentence of death, it does not have to specify any mitigating factor in order to sentence Hargrove to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.

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