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Suspect charged with murder in fatal shooting
Public shows outpouring of support for victim
1 Murder Seppenfield mug

An arrest was made Thursday morning in the fatal shooting last month of a popular coach and father of three.

Dawson County Sheriff's investigators have charged Herman James "Jo" Seppenfield VII, 50, of Dawsonville, with murder in connection with the death of Brandon Weaver, also of Dawson County.

"Investigators met with the District Attorney's Office and determined there was probable cause to charge him with murder in the death of Brandon Weaver," said Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Tony Wooten.

Weaver, 37, died from shots fired at close range during a fight with Seppenfield in southeastern Dawson County on Nov. 22.

Wooten said Seppenfield "did commit the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought caused the death of Brandon Weaver by shooting him."

The fight on Whitney Place reportedly started when Weaver and another man arrived at the home to confront the people living there.

Wooten said Weaver's son had been at a birthday party at the home several hours earlier that evening and had called his dad to say he wanted to go home.

The child felt uncomfortable about something going on at the party, according to Wooten.

The confrontation escalated and shots were fired. Weaver was hit twice in the chest. He died on the scene.

Seppenfield is being held without bond, following his first appearance in Magistrate Court.

The case has now been transferred to Superior Court, where a preliminary hearing has been set for Dec. 31, according to court records.

Wooten said alcohol was involved, a factor that has hindered the investigation.

Weaver, a well-known parks and recreation coach, is survived by his wife Heather Weaver, three young sons, numerous family members and friends throughout many communities.

There has been an outpouring of support for the family, including the construction of a temporary memorial on T-ball field 13 at Rock Creek Park in Weaver's memory, placed by Sherry and Gabe Moon.

"All children and community members are encouraged to visit and leave a signed baseballs or footballs on the field," Sherry Moon wrote on the park's social media page. "Pictures can also be placed in the dugout on a memory board.

"Saying goodbye to such an amazing coach, father, friend and all around person is never easy, but our hope is that this will help bring closure to the many young children Brandon touched and inspired."

A charity flag football tournament has also been organized to help raise funds for the family.

"So far we have about six teams that have said they will play," said Andrew Bearden, who did not know Weaver but was touched by the story. "All the money raised will go to the family before the holidays. This is an opportunity to help this family, show Christ's love and let everyone in the community know that we're all in this together."

The double elimination tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 20 at Veterans Memorial Park.

Entry fee is $100 per team with prizes awarded for first and second place.

For more information or to register, call Bearden at (678) 598-7224 or email