Gregory Haney, Jr. and Ladarius Jawon Jackson on Wednesday morning were both sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the June 7, 2015 armed robbery and murder of Fayetteville Applebee’s manager Gregory Smith.
The jury reached a guilty-on-all-counts verdict on both defendants just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and sentencing was postponed to Wednesday morning to accommodate one person defense attorney Chris Ramig said was going to speak on behalf of his client Haney in front of sentencing. That character witness never showed up Wednesday morning.
Neither defendant had anyone else other than state-appointed defense attorneys speak on their behalf.
Fayette County Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams announced the sentences separately, because Jackson entered the courtroom hurling a profane insult at Haney’s mother Alicia Paschel, who tipped off police last year that it was her son and Jackson who committed the crimes. Jackson was swiftly directed back out of the courtroom, and Haney was left alone with the attorneys to hear several of Smith’s family members share about their loss and about their desire for the court to hold both men fully responsible and to give them the maximum sentence possible.
Judge Sams indeed handed both men the strongest sentence allowed under law, considering that the possibility to treat the case as a death penalty trial had already been waived in order to avoid a prolonged court process.
When Haney left the courtroom after receiving his sentence, he told Judge Sams that life without parole was not justice. He said the death penalty would have been justice.
Judge Sams later responded that he actually did give Haney a sort of life sentence.
“He will die in prison,” Judge Sams said.
Read more about this trial in Saturday’s print editions of Fayette County News and Today in Peachtree City and on www.Fayette-News.com.