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Trial set for February in South Forsyth grad’s slaying
Seppenfield mug

DAWSONVILLE — A trial date has been set for a Dawson County man accused in the 2014 shooting death of a popular youth coach.

Herman James Seppenfield VII, 51, has been in Dawson County Sheriff's custody since his arrest on Dec. 6, 2014.

Charged with felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Seppenfield’s trial is scheduled for the week of Feb. 22, according to court records from a status hearing last week.

The charges stem from a Nov. 22, 2014, fight on Whitney Place off Dawson Forest Road in southeastern Dawson County that ended in gunfire.

Brandon Weaver, 37, of Dawsonville was hit twice at close range, once in the chest and once in the side.

The father of three and 1995 South grad died at the scene, a short time after emergency responders arrived.

Authorities say Seppenfield fired the deadly shots.

The fight reportedly started when Weaver and another man, identified as Marty Buice, arrived at the Whitney Place home to confront the people living there.

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

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.

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

According to court records, attorneys for Seppenfield have indicated they want a change of venue for the trial.

The motion filed May 15 by attorney Richard Stepp, states: "Local and statewide newspapers have published and circulated articles describing the acts with which [Seppenfield] is charged, and such reports have included significant portions of documentary and hearsay evidence to defendant, the admissibility of which has not been considered by this honorable court.”

Similar reports have appeared online and been broadcasted on radio and TV in Dawson County and surrounding areas, which he said "has the potential of severely prejudicing" his client.

On Sept. 3, Deal granted Seppenfield's motion to reserve the right to move for a change of venue if one cannot be seated locally.

Weaver’s survivors included his wife, three young sons and numerous family members and friends throughout many communities.

According to his obituary, Weaver graduated from South in 1995. Forsyth County News records show he was a member of the newspaper’s 1994 All-County football team as a defensive end.

Weaver then went on to play football at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville and then Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D.