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Trial set to begin Monday in South Forsyth grads slaying
Seppenfield mug

DAWSONVILLE — The alleged triggerman in the death of a popular youth recreation coach with Forsyth County ties is set to stand trial on Monday.

Herman James Seppenfield VII, 51, has pleaded not guilty to the charges of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

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 Forsyth High School graduate died at the scene, a short time after first responders arrived.

Authorities say Seppenfield fired the deadly shots. He has been in Dawson County Sheriff's custody since his arrest on Dec. 6, 2014.

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

Authorities said Weaver's son had been at a birthday party at the house 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.

During a court calendar call last month, it was confirmed that Miguez's case would not be heard until Seppenfield's trial was complete.

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.

"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," according to the motion filed May 15 by attorney Richard Stepp.

Similar reports have appeared online and been broadcast 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 include 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.