Hargrove is indicted on three counts of murder in connection with the 2008 stabbing deaths of Andrew Hartley Jr., 45, Sharon Hartley, 46, and their daughter, Allyson Pederson, 18. He is also scheduled for trial April 24 for a charge of feticide for the death of Pederson’s unborn child.
District Attorney Ashley Wright announced the day after Hargrove was indicted on Feb. 19, 2008, that the state would seek the death penalty. Hargrove has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also include burglary, kidnapping and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.
The latest in the flurry of death penalty challenges and motions from Hargrove’s state-appointed capital defenders came March 13 requesting a postponement for the trial. In the motion, Hargrove’s attorney, Teri Thompson, lists all the death penalty cases she is balancing as a reason for delay.
The motion said Thompson has the six-week Cobb County trial of Joshua Drucker in September and a trip to New Jersey in November to interview and prepare witnesses for another defendant.
She has five other pending cases to prepare for in Georgia, including Hargrove’s, according to the motion.
Additionally, the supervisor charged with ensuring the quality of mitigation investigation was focused on another case after a judge denied a continuance. Felicia Sullivan, the director of Mitigation Investigation, is retiring March 31, so a new investigator is needed.
“That investigator will have to learn the entirety of Mr. Hargrove’s case and learn, absorb and digest over four years of investigation of Mr. Hargrove’s life as well as the life of his family in order to be able to effectively assist counsel at trial,” the motion states.
Thompson concludes that during the weeks preceding a Newton County trial that began Feb. 6 and during the trial, she worked no fewer than 16 hours a day and weekends preparing for and defending the suspect.
Today’s hearing will also address Hargrove’s mental competency.