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Authorities say mother helped son flee
Child molestation convict found Thursday in South Georgia
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Stevan Senter

Authorities believe a Valdosta woman helped her son flee Hall County when he jumped bail during his rape and child molestation trial this week.

Judy Sommerfield, 49, has been charged with hindering apprehension of a criminal, a felony, Hall County Sheriff’s Col. Jeff Strickland said Friday.

Sommerfield’s son, Stevan Russell Senter, 22, was on trial in Hall County Superior Court when he cut off an electronic monitor attached to his ankle and left his aunt’s home before the third day of the trial. He was on trial on charges of molesting two teenage girls and had been free on a $50,000 bond.

Senter left behind a suicide note, but investigators believe his mother picked him up that morning on Fork Road, not far from the Jet Wright home in northwest Hall where he was living.

Authorities found Senter and his mother a day later and 278 miles away inside a room at a Valdosta Motel 6.

Lowndes County Sheriff’s Lt. Stryde Jones said the two were arrested without incident after authorities knocked at the motel room door.

The arrest came about six hours after Senter was convicted in absentia and sentenced by Judge Kathlene Gosselin to 45 years in prison.

Senter and his mother were picked up by Hall County Sheriff’s officials Thursday night and brought to the Hall County Jail.

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