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Man jumps bail during rape trial
stevansenter
Stevan Senter

Lawyers made closing arguments in the rape and child molestation trial of Stevan Russell Senter Wednesday, but he wasn’t around to hear them.

Senter, 22, cut off his electronic ankle monitor while out on bond and disappeared early Wednesday morning, failing to show up for the third day of his trial in Hall County Superior Court, authorities said.

Judge Kathlene Gosselin issued a warrant for his arrest and allowed the trial to go on without him.

Hall County Sheriff’s Col. Jeff Strickland said shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday, deputies were called to the home where Senter lived with his aunt on Jet Wright Road in West Hall. Deputies were told Senter left the home sometime during the night, leaving behind a note.

Senter indicated in the note he might commit suicide by drowning in Lake Lanier, prompting Hall County dive team members to search around and under three boat docks on a cove behind the house, Strickland said.

Police dogs and a Georgia State Patrol helicopter also searched the area with no success, Strickland said.

Senter, a former Army soldier and fast-food cook, was on trial this week on charges of molesting two teenage girls who knew him at a South Hall home in December 2007, according to court records.

Senter was free on $50,000 bond consented to by prosecutors and the defense, according to court records. He was required to stay at the home and abide by a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.

Senter cut off an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle sometime after 5 a.m. and it was later found behind the house, Strickland said.

Sheriff’s officials entered Senter’s name in the National Crime Information Center system as a missing person and fugitive. Strickland said no cars were gone from Senter’s home.

Senter faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted of aggravated child molestation.

The jury heard closing arguments and deliberated briefly before leaving for the day Wednesday. Jurors are scheduled to resume deliberations this morning.

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