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Badge and Bar: Defendants to be tried separately in West Avenue slaying
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The two co-defendants accused in a West Avenue shooting death have been severed and will be tried separately, according to court documents.

Leshan Tremiele Tanner, 42, of Gainesville and Rodnie Maurice Stokes, 27, were indicted on Sept. 23 in the death of Cedric Antonio Huff, 42, of Gainesville, related to a June 5 incident. Huff died on June 21, according to police.

Gainesville police said the incident is believed to be related to a drug deal.

Tanner and public defender Larry Duttweiler appeared on Nov. 25 on a motion to sever himself from the joint charges.

Together, Tanner and Stokes were charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempt to purchase marijuana and three counts of felony murder.

Tanner’s counsel said he hoped to sever because “the jury will be confused by the evidence and the law as it applies to (Tanner),” according to court documents.

Georgia Supreme Court precedent in severing co-defendants in these types of cases considers whether evidence against one defendant will be considered against the other defendant.

“(Tanner) also asserts that he cooperated fully with law enforcement, (Tanner) having identified (Stokes) and his role in the crimes alleged,” according to the order signed by Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller on Jan. 19.

Fuller granted the motion, meaning Tanner and Stokes will be tried separately.

Hall fire captain appointed to state training council

A Hall County battalion captain was tapped Tuesday by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to serve on the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council.

Capt. Mark Arnold, an almost 27-year veteran of Hall County Fire Services, will work on the council until Jan. 1, 2017.

The council is responsible for certification standards related to all fire safety personnel. In Georgia, more than 30,000 firefighters are employed at 626 fire departments.

“It’s an honor to be appointed by Lt. Governor Cagle and I am ready to represent Hall County and fulfill my duties on the Georgia Firefighter Standards & Training Council,” Arnold said in a fire services news release.

Nick Watson covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: