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Man sentenced to 25 years in prison
Ronta Garner found guilty of aggravated assault, not guilty on 5 of 7 charges
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An officer puts handcuffs on Ronta Garner Thursday as he talks to public defender David Hoffer during Garner's hearing at the Hall County Courthouse. Garner was found not guilty of armed robbery in a 2013 incident in Gainesville, though he was found guilty of one count of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime. - photo by Erin O. Smith

A Lawrenceville man was found not guilty Thursday of armed robbery and four other charges in a 2013 incident in Gainesville, but was sentenced on two other charges for 25 years in prison.

Ronta Antonio Garner, 33, was sentenced Thursday evening following the jury’s verdict that afternoon. He also was found not guilty of false imprisonment and cruelty to children, as well as one count each of aggravated assault and simple assault.

According to the indictment, Garner and Shamarcus Grimes of Lawrenceville, who is being tried separately, were accused of entering an apartment Oct. 30, 2013, in the 1600 block of Roper Hill Road in Gainesville and holding Brittney Al-Mosri at gunpoint. He was acquitted of those charges.

The jury found Garner guilty on aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime in relation to Quavis Carruth, who was shot in the side on the same day as the alleged attempted armed robbery.

During sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bagwell listed Garner’s previous convictions in other counties and asked for the maximum 25 years total to be served in prison.

Garner’s public defender Matt Leipold countered with a proposal of 25 years with only eight served in prison, with the remainder to be served on probation. Leipold offered Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller what the expected testimony would be for Garner’s family.

“If they were here again today, they would all testify that they’ve known Mr. Garner to be someone who mostly keeps to himself, doesn’t get in fights, doesn’t carry a gun, doesn’t get in other people’s business,” Leipold said.

Fuller decided to impose the maximum sentence.

“You’re a young man. You had much to offer society,” Fuller said to Garner, saying the lifestyle he chose moved outside of the law.

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