The wife of a man who was shot to death in 2021 asked that her husband’s killer never be let go during a sentencing hearing Thursday. Floyd County Superior Court Judge William “Billy” Sparks sentenced Jeffrey Alfred Shedrick to life in prison plus five years with the possibility of parole. Shedrick was convicted last week on malice murder and other related charges for shooting Scott Dennis Hayes on March 22, 2021, three times in the back, including once in the back of the head in the woods between the Callier Forest Apartments on Dodd Boulevard and a Toyota dealership.
“Never let him go,” the victim’s wife told Judge Sparks before sentencing. “We were next-door neighbors in the apartments, he knew we had children together.” According to information presented in court, both men lived in the apartment complex and Hayes was known to walk each day to the gas station nearby. Police at the scene described the trail as a well-traveled path used by residents of the apartments as well as a homeless camp in the area. A witness testified that they saw Hayes walk down the trail, then heard gunshots. Shedrick was then seen exiting the woods and going into the apartment complex. He then left, driven by his girlfriend.
“My brother was a loving man,” said the victim’s sister during the hearing. “I pray for (Shedrick’s) soul as I pray for my brother’s. I forgive you, but you must pay for what you have done.” No motive for the murder was ever presented in court, a point that Judge Sparks referenced during sentencing. “This murder makes no sense,” Sparks told Shedrick while passing down the sentence. “You’ve wasted your own life, and have never expressed remorse for this crime. There are no winners here, only losers.”
In asking for the maximum sentence of life without parole, Assistant District Attorney Ashley Cox said, “it goes against the law of nature for a father to have to bury his son, but that is what he did.” His attorney, Rome Circuit Chief Public Defender Sean Lowe pleaded for a measure of mercy. “If you hear how he speaks to his children, he loves them deeply,” Lowe told the judge, asking that his client be allowed the chance for parole. Shedrick will have to serve 30 years minimum on the malice murder charge, Sparks said, plus five years on a gun charge before coming before he is eligible for parole “You will be an old man before you ever have the chance to be released from prison,” Sparks told Shedrick. “I hope maybe you can do something good in prison, and I hope this sentence gives the victim’s family some peace that justice has been served.”
This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at northwestgeorgianews.com.
(WRGA Rome, Georgia)