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Augusta death penalty trial reset for Jan. 6 for Adrian Hargrove

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 5:34 PM
Last updated 9:44 PM
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The death penalty trial for the suspect in a 2008 Augusta triple homicide is now scheduled to begin Jan. 6.

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Adrian Hargrove sits between attorneys Newell Hamilton (left) and April Herbert during a pretrial hearing. Hargrove is accused of killing three people, including a pregnant teenager.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Adrian Hargrove sits between attorneys Newell Hamilton (left) and April Herbert during a pretrial hearing. Hargrove is accused of killing three people, including a pregnant teenager.

Adrian Hargrove, 36, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges that include murder, feticide, and kidnapping.

He is accused of committing the Feb. 9, 2008, slayings of Andrew Hartley Jr., 45, his wife, Sharon Hartley, 46, and her daughter, Allyson Pederson, 18.

On Wednesday, Hargrove’s defense team asked Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. to reconsider a ruling he made earlier or allow the defense to take the issue to the Georgia Supreme Court before any trial begins.

Blanchard denied both requests.

Newell Hamilton and April Herbert of the Capital Defender’s Office sought to keep out any evidence regarding a 1998 cruelty to children conviction.

While Blanchard agreed that Hargrove’s plea couldn’t withstand a constitutional challenge and the conviction itself cannot be presented to the jury in the death penalty case, the judge ruled prosecutors can introduce evidence from the case.

The 1998 case against Hargrove began as a charge of child molestation. He was arrested after a 3-year-old girl in Franklin County, where he was living at the time, was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.

District Attorney Ashley Wright argued that the judge’s prior ruling in the case should stand. Although the videotaped interview with the child in 1998 has been lost, the social worker assigned to the case still remembers the details and has notes in her case file, Wright said.

If a jury finds Hargrove guilty of the murder charges, the jury will be asked to set the punishment at life in prison with or without the possibility of parole, or death.

The Hartleys were found stabbed to death in the bedroom of the Bennock Mill Road home. Pederson’s body was found set on fire off Lock and Dam Road near the Augusta Regional Airport. Pederson, according to earlier reports in The Augusta Chronicle, was five months pregnant at the time.

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fishman960 07/17/13 - 07:03 pm
Too long

That will be 6 years my family have waited for justice for the murders of our family.

rmwhitley 07/18/13 - 08:56 am

not another homeboy?

harlemgirl 07/18/13 - 09:20 am

Not only is this a ridiculously long wait for justice for these victims, this is total LACK of justice. How broken our system is!

This murderer conducted heinous crimes on multiple persons. He was previously convicted of molestation and passing an STD(so there was contact) to a THREE YEAR OLD!! And Judge Blanchard will NOT allow the prosecutors to even mention that CONVICTION or prison time?!

Yet he sits in jail for years without a trial or closure for his victims' families....

Compare this to Scott Dean for a minute--
--Railroaded into jail then state prison for a crime that never happened.
--Convicted in the media before he was ever indicted.
--Lied about by his troubled, adopted children, but the "investigators" give no weight to testimony by numerous adults close to the family, etc that this never would have happened. There is NO EVIDENCE of a crime.
--Judge Blanchard(same judge) allows testimony of previous "crimes" that were never reported or documented from 20 or more years in the past. They could have been totally made up. There is NO EVIDENCE of a crime, no police report, no conviction, nothing.
--The victim recants all allegations a year later and still he sits in a state prison with murderers and rapists.

Where is the justice in the justice system?

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