Macon – A 21-year-old Macon man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday in the 2015 fatal shooting of Vernard Mays, a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office civil clerk.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Michael Dewayne Hardy Jr. pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and violating Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
If Hardy testifies truthfully in proceedings for two other men charged in the case, his sentence will be reduced to 20 years.
If the case had gone to trial, prosecutors Nancy Scott Malcor and Sandra Matson would have presented evidence showing:
Occupants of a car involved in an accident in front of Mays’ home hid a bag with drugs and a gun in Mays’ yard before police or first responders arrived.
Later, Hardy and four other men went to the house to retrieve the bag. Unable to find it, one of them knocked on Mays’ door and asked about it. Mays told them he had no knowledge of the bag or its contents. Hardy and others began shooting and Mays was fatally shot.
Jadarien Shamar Flowers, 22, and Drayson Walter McDonald, 19, also have entered guilty pleas in the case.
Murder charges still are pending against two other men, 18-year-old Addonis Rhodes and 24-year-old Curtis Dewayne Jackson Jr.
Speaking after the hearing, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “The only reason why Mr. Hardy is not spending a lifetime in prison for this senseless killing is that he has chosen to cooperate and take responsibility for his actions.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack