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State drops charges against co-defendant in fatal shooting of south Forsyth grad

DAWSONVILLE — Just days after a jury acquitted a Dawson County man in connection with the shooting death of a popular youth recreation coach and father of three, the state filed an order dismissing the charges against his co-defendant.

Tory Jude Miguez, 26, was initially charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a felony crime for his alleged involvement in a November 2014 fight that ended in gunfire.

Miguez was accused of hitting a man in the head with the butt of a gun.

According to court records, those charges were officially dropped March 2.

"Although there was probable cause for defendant's arrest, the state cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt," the order read.

Also charged in the case was 51-year-old Herman James "Bo" Seppenfield VII.

The Dawson County man stood trial last month on felony and malice murder charges in the death of 37-year-old Alan Brandon Weaver, a 1995 South Forsyth High School graduate. He was acquitted on all counts Feb. 29.

"According to Seppenfield, it was he, and not [Miguez], that struck Marty Buice on the back of the head with the butt of a firearm. Moreover, Seppenfield testified that defendant was away from both Seppenfield and Buice when Seppenfield shot and killed [Weaver]," according to the court order.

The charges stemmed from events that took place Nov. 22, 2014, at a home on Whitney Place in southeastern Dawson County.

From the first dsay of the trial, which started Feb. 22, there was never an argument made denying that Seppenfield fired the deadly shots at Weaver.

The defense maintained the shooting was justified and lawful, that Seppenfield was defending his family and his home.

According to Seppenfield, he was awakened from sleep to find a man at his door shortly after 10 p.m., demanding to know what had gone on at a child's birthday party held there earlier in the day.

Testifying for the state, Weaver's now 13-year-old son, said he had felt uncomfortable about adults at the party drinking and smoking cigars, which led to him and two friends leaving the party without notifying any adults.

He called home to tell his mom as the trio walked toward his house off Dawson Forest Road.

Weaver's wife then drove her husband and Buice, her brother, to pick up the three boys.

Witness testimony showed they also made a stop back at the party, letting Seppenfield and his girlfriend Elisa Chameli, who played host to the party for her twin daughters, know the three boys had left on their own.

It was hours later that Buice and Weaver returned to the home, where a verbal altercation led to the fight and gunfire.

At first sight, Seppenfield said he did not recognize the man at the door, later identified as Buice, who he described in court as "belligerent and drunk."

Within moments, Seppenfield said he was picking himself up off the ground, having been hit in the mouth by Buice.

According to Seppenfield, once he regained his senses, he found Buice fighting with Miguez, who also lived at the Whitney Place home and accompanied Seppenfield to the door.

With the pistol he had placed in his waistband when he heard the loud knocking at his door, Seppenfield said he was able to subdue Buice for a short time, telling him the police were on the way.

The events continued to escalate and Buice was hit in the head with the pistol.

Seppenfield spent 425 days in Dawson County Sheriff's custody, awaiting trial. His bond was set at $250,000.

Miquez had been out on a $35,000 bond since February 2015.

Following Seppenfield's acquittal, Miguez said it was important to him to have both of their names cleared.