Attorneys for two Dawson County men accused in the shooting death of a popular coach and father have entered pleas of not guilty.
Richard Stepp, attorney for Herman Seppenfield, on Monday, March 16, filed a waiver of formal arraignment and a plea of not guilty in Dawson County Superior Court.
Seppenfield, 50, was charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony crime in connection with the Nov. 22, 2014 shooting death of Alan Brandon Weaver, 37, also of Dawson County.
Seppenfield was arrested Dec. 4, 2014, 12 days after the incident.
By waiving a formal arraignment, Seppenfield was not required to appear before Judge Jason Deal who is presiding over the case.
Also on March 16, Gerald Verzaal, attorney for co-defendant Tory Judge Miguez, 25, filed a waiver of formal arraignment and a plea of not guilty on behalf of his client.
Miguez has been charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony crime against another person and two counts of aggravated assault.
Additionally, on Feb. 20, Verzaal filed a motion for immunity from criminal prosecution under Georgia law 16-3-24.2. The law states, A person who uses threats or force against another under circumstances in which he is justified in so doing ... shall be immune from criminal prosecution, unless in the use of such force, he utilizes a weapon, the carrying or possession of which is unlawful by such person.
Georgia Press Association Attorney David Hudson was asked for comment on the law.
What O.C.G.A 16-3-24.2 does is allow a judge to make a decision based on all of the evidence presented to him prior to trial on whether the defendant falls within one of the self-defense code provisions, Hudson said. If the court so finds, any prosecution must be dismissed prior to trial.
Miguel contends he was justified in using force against Brandon Weaver, according to court documents.
Weaver died from gun shots fired at close range during a fight at a home on Whitney Place.
Authorities reported that a fight started when Weaver and another man arrived at the home to confront the people living there.
Weavers son had been attending a birthday party at the home and had called home to say he felt uncomfortable about something happening at the party, according to Dawson County Sheriffs Capt. Tony Wooten.
Seppenfields bond was set at $250,000 in February. He remains in custody at the Dawson County Jail.
Miguez was granted bond in the amount of $35,000.