By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Trial continues in shooting death of South Forsyth graduate
Seppenfield mug

DAWSONVILLE — Dawson County Sheriff’s deputies, a paramedic and crime scene technician testified on behalf of the state Wednesday in the trial of the man accused of fatally shooting a popular youth recreation coach.

During the second day of testimony, the state submitted evidence, including the 9mm Beretta and defendant Herman James "Bo" Seppenfield VII's blood-stained clothes, collected at the home on Whitney Place where the shooting occurred.

Seppenfield, 51, is charged with murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in the death of Brandon Weaver, 37, of Dawsonville.

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

Wednesday, Sheriff's Investigator Donna Bennett recounted the conversation she had with Seppenfield at the scene.

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

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

"We say no crime was committed," he said during Tuesday's opening arguments. "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 family when he fired the Beretta at close range, striking Weaver twice, once each in the chest and side.

Weaver, a married father of three and 1995 South Forsyth High School graduate, died at the scene, a short time after emergency personnel arrived.

Jennifer Geller, an assistant district attorney for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit that includes Dawson and Hall counties, said Tuesday the state will prove the shooting was neither justified nor 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 testimony Tuesday, the son said he had felt uncomfortable about the drinking and cigar smoking by adults at the party, which led to him leaving along with two friends.

Also arrested in connection with the fight was 25-year-old Tory Jude Miguez, 25, who has been 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 not armed, 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.