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The computer problem that resulted in wrong prison sentence in child torture case
Bond denied for suspect while awaiting hearing to withdraw guilty plea
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Scott Shelby sits in Hall County Superior Court Monday Aug. 22, 2022, for a hearing about bond and matters related to his sentence. Shelby was sentenced to prison for life in July for what prosecutors called "child torture." - photo by Scott Rogers

A Hall County Superior Court judge explained Monday, Aug. 22, how a court sentence computer program incorrectly added 100 years to a man’s sentence.

Scott Shelby, 47, pleaded guilty in June to multiple counts of child molestation and child cruelty in a case described by the prosecution as “child torture.”

Shelby filed a motion the following month to withdraw his guilty plea, which is still pending.

Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin said the Department of Corrections sent back the sentence for clarification.

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Scott Shelby enters Hall County Superior Court Monday Aug. 22, 2022, for a hearing about bond and matters related to his sentence. Shelby was sentenced to prison for life in July for what prosecutors called "child torture." - photo by Scott Rogers


The sentence on file with the courthouse was life in prison plus 160 years, with life plus 136 years to serve in prison and the remainder on probation.

Gosselin said the sentencing computer program tabulated the sentence incorrectly, making the sentences on certain separate charges run consecutively.

Gosselin said Shelby’s sentence should be life in prison plus 60 years, with 21 of those years on probation.

Defense attorney Jerry C. Carter Jr. filed a motion for bond for Shelby, but Gosselin said there would not be a bond.

Gosselin also told Carter that he would need to file the paperwork to represent Shelby regarding the motion to withdraw the guilty plea.