Originally created 09/02/01

Couple agree to extradition



AIKEN - The couple charged in connection with an Interstate 20 road rage slaying in Columbia County waived their right Saturday night to fight extradition from South Carolina.

Brian Jennings Lonergan, 28, and Tammy Lonergan, 27, appeared before an Aiken County magistrate judge about an hour apart.

The couple also waived their right to a bond hearing in Aiken County.

The Lonergans, of the 3500 block of Reveres Place in Martinez, were being held in the Aiken County Detention Center after being arrested in North Augusta in connection with the Friday night stabbing death of a 22-year-old Thomson man.

"I'm willing to go back," Mr. Lonergan told Magistrate Judge Gibson Fallaw during the hearing at the jail.

They were expected to be picked up by Columbia County deputies sometime late Saturday or early today.

Mr. Lonergan is charged with murder and Mrs. Lonergan with aggravated assault in the stabbing death of Joshua Hadden, of the 100 block of Pine Ridge Road, Thomson, according to court records.

A third person, Vicky Newman, 36, of the 3900 block of Haley Road, Martinez, also has been charged.

Ms. Newman, a relative of Mr. Lonergan's, was being held at the Columbia County Detention Center on charges of giving false statements and concealing facts, Capt. Morris said.

She was released Saturday on $2,050 bond.

Authorities said about 10 p.m. Friday, Mr. Hadden, who was driving a white Nissan truck, was traveling west on I-20 when he was rear-ended by Mr. Lonergan, who was driving a 1985 GMC truck.

Capt. Morris said Mr. Lonergan failed to stop and a chase ensued for about three miles.

The two trucks then stopped near the Grovetown exit, where Mr. Lonergan and his wife got out of the truck to confront Mr. Hadden.

A fight broke out between the two men, and authorities said Mr. Lonergan stabbed Mr. Hadden twice in the chest.

The Lonergans fled the scene.

Mr. Hadden was taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he died from his injuries, police said.

The other passengers in the Nissan were unharmed.

Deputies later located the damaged GMC at the home of one of Mr. Lonergan's relatives, who is said to be Ms. Newman.

Police suspect the couple left the truck there, along with a small child who was said to be with them at the time of the incident.

Capt. Morris said they received a tip on the whereabouts of the Lonergans and contacted Aiken County authorities.

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 868-1222 or Matthew Boedy at (803) 648-1394.