Originally created 12/19/06

Judge refuses to cut sentence for burglar



A judge has refused to let an Augusta man withdraw his guilty plea or reduce his prison sentence.

David Hallford, 41, was back in Richmond County Superior Court on Monday, seeking relief from the seven-year prison sentence that Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet had imposed in May 2005 after Mr. Hallford pleaded guilty to burglary.

Defense attorney McNeill Stokes contended the prison sentence, followed by a probation sentence, was excessive considering Mr. Hallford's crime.

Mr. Hallford, who has been behind bars for two years, seven months, asked the judge to reduce the prison sentence.

District Attorney Danny Craig vigorously opposed the request. Although the defendant pleaded guilty to burglary, Mr. Craig said that Mr. Hallford broke into his ex-wife's home to commit murder.

A sheriff's deputy was sent to Jebbiden Hallford's home to investigate a 911 hang-up call the night of May 21, 2004. He found Mr. Hallford in the home with pocket knives, handcuffs and gloves.

Ms. Hallford told officers that her ex-husband said he intended to kill her, their son and himself that night, Mr. Craig said.

Mr. Hallford insisted at his sentencing hearing last year and again Monday that his ex-wife was never in any danger.

After Judge Overstreet refused to reduce the sentence, Mr. Hallford attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, which the judge did not allow.

After his imprisonment, Mr. Hallford will be on probation for eight years.

Also Monday, Judge Overstreet administratively lifted an original provision of the probation. Another judge hearing a habeas petition on Mr. Hallford's behalf had ruled that Judge Overstreet could not banish Mr. Hallford from Augusta.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.