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Badge & Bar: Man pleads not guilty in West Avenue slaying
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One of the men indicted in a June 5 West Avenue fatal shooting has waived formal arraignment and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Leshan Tremiele Tanner, 42, of Gainesville was indicted on Sept. 23 in the death of Cedric Antonio Huff, 41. Tanner and Rodnie Maurice Stokes, 27, are accused of shooting Huff in his West Avenue apartment with a 9 mm handgun after attempting to purchase half a pound of marijuana, according to the indictment.

Huff was pronounced dead June 21, after being shot in the abdomen and transferred to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Tanner was arrested June 22 and charged with felony murder. Police found Stokes after a monthlong search and arrested him July 16.

Jointly, Stokes and Tanner were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, attempt to purchase marijuana, robbery and three counts of felony murder.

Separately, Stokes was charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and an additional felony murder count.

Gainesville police Detective Gordon Hendry testified at Tanner’s pretrial hearing about phone messages that discuss a plan to buy marijuana and rob Huff.

Stokes has an arraignment hearing set for Nov. 20, according to the Hall County Comprehensive Justice Information System.

Sheriff may release statement about reinstated deputies

Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch may release a statement on two reinstated deputies, according to Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes.

The Civil Service Board rescinded the termination July 17 of Jack Dodd and Larry Henslee, two fired deputies involved in a July 16, 2013, inmate escape.

The board voted 5-1 in favor of the deputies, who claimed they were understaffed on the day the inmate escaped from the transport vehicle. The sheriff fired the deputies a week after the incident.

The reinstatements were affirmed in an Oct. 17 vote after the board’s previous vote violated open meetings laws, according to an Aug. 12 decision by Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller.

Bailes wrote in an email that the sheriff has been out of the office this week but will return today.

“I will check with him then to see if he is prepared to release his statement,” Bailes wrote.

Police warn of potential dangers during Halloween

With trick-or-treating in full force Friday, Gainesville police have offered tips to avoid danger.

Among the list is full attentiveness while driving, as children may not see oncoming traffic. Parents are also asked to dress children in bright colors and reflective gear while keeping them on the sidewalk.

“Let’s make sure that everyone brings home treats, not tragedies on Halloween night,” wrote Gainesville police spokesman Cpl. Joe Britte in a release.

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


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