By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
First responders give details of alleged shooting scene in 2014 Dawson death
Placeholder Image

Deputies, a paramedic and the crime scene tech, who were among the first responders on the scene of a fatal shooting in November 2014, testified on behalf of the state Wednesday in the murder trial of a Dawson County man accused in the death of a local little league coach.

During the second day of testimony, the state submitted evidence, including the 9mm Beretta and the defendant's blood stained clothes, collected at the Whitney Place crime scene.

Herman James "Bo" Seppenfield VII, 51, is charged with murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

He is accused of killing Brandon Weaver, 37, of Dawsonville.

The charges stem from a fight that escalated into gunfire at the southeastern Dawson County home off Dawson Forest Road.

Dawson County Sheriff's Investigator Donna Bennett recounted Wednesday the conversation she had with Seppenfield when she arrived on the scene.

"At first he just stared at me. Then he said, 'I shot him,'" she told the jury.

Seppenfield's attorney Richard Stepp says the shooting was in self-defense.

"We say no crime was committed," he said during Tuesday's opening statements. "It's a tragedy, no question. The question you have to ask, the question you have to answer...was Bo justified in the law."

Stepp said Seppenfield was defending his home and his family when he fired a 9 mm Beretta at close range, striking Weaver two times, once in the chest and once in the side.

Weaver died at the Whitney Place scene a short time after emergency personnel arrived.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Geller said Tuesday that the state will prove the shooting was not justified or self-defense.

"This is about an unarmed victim who was begging for the life of his best friend, of his brother-in-law," she said.

The fight reportedly started when Weaver and his brother-in-law, Marty Buice, went to the home to confront the residents.

Weaver's son, who was 12 at the time, had been at the home earlier that evening for a birthday party.

During his testimony on Tuesday, Weaver's son said he felt uncomfortable about drinking and cigar smoking by adults at the party, which led to him leaving the party along with two friends.

Also arrested in connection with the fight was 25-year-old Tory Jude Miguez, 25, who was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a felony crime.

He also lived at the Whitney Place residence and was home when Buice and Weaver, who were unarmed, showed up.

During a calendar call last month, it was confirmed that Miguez's case would not be heard until Seppenfield's trial was complete.

Last September, Superior Court Judge Jason Deal granted a motion filed on behalf of Seppenfield to sever his proceedings from those of Miguez.