Plea deal rejected for couple accused of stealing from elderly woman

A plea deal for a young couple accused of helping themselves to an elderly woman’s bank account fell apart Friday after the judge had heard from the victim.


Assistant District Attorney Josh Smith said he was agreeing to allow Douglas Hadden and Brittney Hurst plead guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor theft by deception because they were prepared to pay the entire restitution Friday.

Hadden, 27, and Hurst, 26, were to have stood trial this week in Richmond County Superior Court on felony charges of identity fraud and exploitation or intimidation of elderly persons, accused of using Hadden’s grandmother’s bank account to buy an iPhone 7 at Christmas. The victim discovered a $1,814.29 charge Jan. 12. When she confronted Hadden, he got ugly, the prosecutor said.

“First of all, I love my grandson,” the grandmother told Judge James G. Blanchard Jr., but she said Hadden became very aggressive when she confronted him. The judge asked her to explain.

Hadden said he wished she were dead or in a nursing home. He told her he would keep her from her great-grandson and that he would see to it that she was in jail while they live and laugh in her home.

Hadden and Hurst, whom she had let live at her home with their child for four months, needed structure to learn to live like adults, she told Blanchard. She said she also thought Hadden needed anger management.

Anger management wasn’t part of the plea negotiation, said defense attorney Jason Hasty. She had let them use her debit card for various things, and the case should have been a civil, not a criminal, matter, he said. Hadden spent 12 days in jail before he could make bond.

Hurst’s attorney Jesse Owen, told the judge that she brought him $2,000 for restitution as soon as she could. He put the money in the trust fund and brought a check for the full restitution Friday, Owen said.

Blanchard refused to accept the plea negotiation. He revoked bond for Hadden and Hurst and ordered them taken into custody.

The next available trial date is June 5. Blanchard told the attorneys to be ready to try the case that week.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226

Jerry Whitcomb 3 months ago
Keep the check, pay the lady back, and put both of them in the slammer for about 5 years. The boys in the jail can teach him some anger management. 
B. M. Michales 3 months ago
I agree.
ROY WHITLEY 3 months ago
Finally a judge with common sense. hadden and hurst are typical democrats.
Brittany Sullivan 3 months ago
Maybe if you don't know anything about the case you should keep your opinions to yourself, because "hadden & hurst" are actually innocent here and both of them have clean records :) have a nice day. Follow the story when it's done and "ms hadden" may be the one getting the 5yrs that your requesting. 
Sue Vandergrift 3 months ago
We had a caregiver In Augusta steal our uncle's money for a total of 146,000.00, opened up 13 credit cards/charge accounts and stole the title to his truck and forged her name on it and she got 10 years probation and has to pay back 7,900.00 restitution.  The court also ordered that all rights of the truck be given back to our uncle, which has not been done.  We feel like the judicial system has failed us.  We are going to continue the fight for our family.
Vickie Vandergrift 3 months ago
The fact this person was charged with Exploitation of the Elderly is obvious she also stole the truck and police was notified several times. Don't understand why GEICO wants the victim's family to pay for something that already belonged to our uncle. Geico go after the thief!!!!! She frauded YOU!


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