Man accused of beating corpse of dead girlfriend found guilty of misdemeanor battery
WAYNE CO.—We’d say “only in Wayne County,” but the sad fact is, it’s kind of happening all over: violent, freaky people are charged with the most heinous of crimes, and they get by with a considerably diminished conviction.
In the case of Ricky Garner this afternoon, it was beating his girlfriend, leaving her injured, coming back to her house a few days later and allegedly kicking and brutalizing what was most certainly her corpse….then when his case went to jury trial today, being found guilty of a misdemeanor: simple battery.
You read that right.
Garner, 52, was charged in late 2009 after his girlfriend Stephanie Hayes was found dead in her home in Cisne. Neighbors reported seeing Garner in an act that appeared to be beating and kicking her—something, they say, he was prone to do—in what was later have been determined to be days after her death.
Still, he was only charged with Aggravated Battery. And today, he was only convicted of misdemeanor battery, in a jury trial conducted by special prosecutor David “Rollover” Rands and the extremely capable defense attorney Brad Vaughan of Olney.
What went down during the two-day trial, including jury selection, will be covered more thoroughly in the April issue of Disclosure, but keep checking back, as we’ll try to bring you more details this evening, including input from the family of Hayes.
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