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Life in prison for Albany man

Defense attorney Robb Hunter, right, speaks on behalf of Jermaine Harrison during Harrison’s sentencing hearing Monday afternoon at the Dougherty County Jail.

Defense attorney Robb Hunter, right, speaks on behalf of Jermaine Harrison during Harrison’s sentencing hearing Monday afternoon at the Dougherty County Jail.

ALBANY, Ga. — An Albany man was sentenced to life in prison, plus a 20-year term after being convicted of beating another into a coma from which the victim likely will never awake.

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Jermaine Darnell Harrison, 26, received the sentence from Chief Dougherty Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette Monday afternoon in the courtroom at the Dougherty County Jail.

Harrison was convicted of kidnapping with bodily injury and aggravated battery for beating James Donterris Wheeler III near the 1500 block of Elva Street on March 17, 2012.

Prosecutor Matthew Breedon told Lockette during the sentencing hearing that doctors say Wheeler likely will never awaken from his coma, arguing that the trial was “the closest thing to a murder case” because Wheeler likely won’t recover from the coma.

Harrison’s family, including his mother and sister, pleaded with Lockette to be merciful.

“Y’all have painted him to be some kind of monster,” Latoya Harrison said from the rear of the room. “That’s not the person I grew up with and knew. His family needs him.”

His mother also spoke, pointing to the fact that her son was convicted on circumstantial evidence and asking that the judge show mercy.

Wheeler’s family wasn’t present at the hearing, and his fiance wrote down her feelings in a victim impact statement that was filed as part of the official record.

“My kids are really hurt, and I can’t express how much I am hurting now,” Letisha Williams wrote. “We don’t understand how people can be so cruel as to do what they did to him.”

Harrison will be eligible for parole once he completes 30 years in the state prison system.

Comments

VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

He a good man, really he is, he never meant to hurt nobody. Be merciful? He didn't show the victim any mercy putting him in a coma. Sounds like a monster to me. He wasn't giving his victim ice cream cones.

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SMHgain 1 year, 3 months ago

WALB's article said that this guy was on house arrest and disabled his ankle monitor in order to commit this crime. I just wonder if the roles were reversed and Mr. Harrison was lying in a coma if his family would want the judge to give his attacker "mercy"?

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iko 1 year, 3 months ago

Sounds like a clear case of racism to me.

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carnus4112 1 year, 3 months ago

OK lets play the race card.............This is not the first time this person has had trouble with the law, he had on a angle monitor.......check his record. Racism, I think not.... just plain justice.

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erock 1 year, 3 months ago

The judges involved with placing these heathens on ankle bracelet monitors should be required to sign an agreement that holds them accountable for any crimes committed while the defendant is on the monitor. If he goes out and murders someone, guess what, the judge goes on trial with him , charged with the same crime.

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VietVet1 1 year, 3 months ago

Just shows his family has no remorse for the victim. What a sorry lot!

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latoyaharrison1589 1 year, 3 months ago

im such a late person on this but on behalf of my brother i feel the right to speak out to be honest none of you were in the courtroom not one day of his trial you do not know the facts of this case... of course he was on house arrest at the time that this happened did they mention that fact that his monitor a total different location than the one where this incident was suppose to have happened?... how dare any of you come and pass judgement on someone and you have no earthly idea what was going on. I have all the sympathy in the world for the victim but why take another life especially if he had nothing to do with this incident... did they mention the fact that the victims girlfriend took a whole year to mention my brothers name?... oh you just forget things like that hmmph

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MRKIA 1 year, 3 months ago

FACT IS YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT HIM GETTING OUT FOR 30 YEARS. AND WHY DOES YOUR FAMILY NEED HIM? HE WASN'T DOING ANYTHING FOR YOU WHILE HE WAS OUT. PROBABLY STILL LIVING WITH MAMA.

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