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High profile defendants in court here Thursday

By Walter Geiger Defendants in multiple, high-profile local cases will be in Lamar superior court Thursday, Jan. 4 for appearances before Judge Bill Fears who will preside over a pre-trial calendar. Criminal trials begin Jan. 22. Fredrick Sherard Harden will appear in court on multiple charges stemming from the Dec. 13, 2016 shooting death of Jessey Gadzetti at a trailer on North Street here. Gadzetti was a GSC student and a short order cook at a campus food service location. Harden is charged with two counts involuntary manslaughter, felony possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence and theft by receiving stolen property. He has another case pending on charges of sale of cocaine and sale of marijuana. Also on the calendar is the retrial of David Lewis McGuire who is charged with malice murder, felony murder and a host of other charges stemming from the Sept. 15, 2016 shooting death of his mother Elaine McGuire at her home on Liz Acres Road. The first attempt to try the case ended in a mistrial on Oct. 27, 2017. Tyler Wallker Pitts is also scheduled to appear before Judge Fears. Pitts allegedly fired at Lt. Chris Webster after a high speed chase ended near LCHS on Sept. 8, 2016. Pitts was hit several times in the hail of bullets that followed his opening fire. He is charged with three counts aggravated assault on a peace officer, obstruction, aggravated assault, fleeing and attempting to elude, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. Lance Kershaw is due in court on charges stemming from an incident at LCHS in which he allegedly entered the school on Oct. 17, 2016 and hung nude photos of his granddaughter in boys’ restrooms at the school. Prosecutors say the photos came from a camera he concealed in a shower at his home. Kershaw is charged with first degree cruelty to children, two counts invasion of privacy, criminal trespass, disrupting a public school and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Sarah Elizabeth Hart is on the calendar for a pre-trial hearing on four counts cruelty to children and aggravated battery stemming from an incident in which a child was found unresponsive in her room at Sun Inn here June 13. Hart told responding officers another child in the room poured hot sauce down the victim’s throat. It is expected Judge Fears will receive a mental competency report on Christopher Jay Jordan who faces a host of charges in connection with a violent home invasion at a Brent Road farm here last May in which a Golden Retriever was shot to death as it attempted to come to the aid of its masters. Tanisha Alvett Murphy is also due to appear before Judge Fears on one count of felony theft by taking. Prosecutors say Murphy, a former clerk in the probate court office, took funds from accounts overseen by the court. Murphy turned herself in on Jan. 3, 2016 after a GBI investigation.

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