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Local man dies in prison

POSTED: January 30, 2013 4:00 a.m.

A defendant in a high profile Dawson County government theft case was found dead Saturday at the minimum security prison south of Atlanta where he was serving his sentence.

Funeral services for Justin Curtis Disharoon, 25, were held Monday at Bethel Baptist Church in Dawsonville.

Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden said inmate deaths at the Clayton Transitional Center in Forest Park are investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Bearden declined to comment further on the matter, saying only that Disharoon "did die while incarcerated."

Details of the death have not been released. However, Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said Monday that Disharoon's death had been ruled a suicide.

Calls to GBI and the prison seeking additional comment were not immediately returned.

Court records indicate Disharoon was set to be released from prison this fall to spend the remainder of his 10-year sentence on probation.

The youngest of three defendants to plead guilty in 2011 to stealing thousands from the Dawson County Clerk of Courts Office, Disharoon was ordered to spend the first two years of his sentence in prison.

He was arrested along with former Clerk of Court Becky McCord and her chief deputy, Donna Sheriff, in January 2010 for their roles in two separate thefts involving more than $200,000 in county funds.

Sheriff was McCord's second in command when local law enforcement learned she had written more than $80,000 in unauthorized checks from a clerk of courts account to Disharoon, who did contract work for the clerk's office.

A lifelong resident of Dawson County, Disharoon's immediate survivors include his parents, stepparents and several siblings and other relatives.

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