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Inmate commits suicide at prison

Dawsonville man was serving time in clerk of court theft case

POSTED: January 29, 2013 11:10 p.m.

A defendant in a high-profile Dawson County government theft case was found dead Saturday at the minimum-security prison south of Atlanta where he was serving his sentence.

Funeral services for Justin Curtis Disharoon, 25, were held Monday at Bethel Baptist Church in Dawsonville.

Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden said inmate deaths at the Clayton Transitional Center in Forest Park are investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Bearden declined to comment further, saying only that Disharoon “did die while incarcerated.”

Details of the death have not been released. However, Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said Monday that Disharoon’s death had been ruled a suicide.

Calls to GBI and the prison seeking additional comment were not immediately returned.

Court records indicate Disharoon was set to be released from prison this fall to spend the remainder of his 10-year sentence on probation.

The youngest of three defendants to plead guilty in 2011 to stealing thousands from the Dawson County Clerk of Courts Office, Disharoon was ordered to spend the first two years of his sentence in prison.

He was arrested along with former Clerk of Court Becky McCord and her chief deputy, Donna Sheriff, in January 2010 for their roles in two separate thefts involving more than $200,000 in county funds.

Sheriff was McCord’s second in command when local law enforcement learned she had written more than $80,000 in unauthorized checks from a clerk of courts account to Disharoon, who did contract work for the clerk’s office.

In addition to jail time and his portion of the nearly $82,000 in restitution, Disharoon was to pay $1,000 in fines, $300 in court costs and enroll in an alcohol treatment program.

Sentenced as a first offender, he was to also perform 240 hours of community service and can have no contact with Sheriff.

Disharoon was also arrested for DUI shortly after his bond from the theft charges.

Senior Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill had previously said his client had taken full responsibility for his actions.

A lifelong resident of Dawson County, Disharoon’s immediate survivors include his parents, stepparents and several siblings and other relatives.


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