Inquest rules Jarvas Thomas shooting was a homicide

2013-01-24T03:01:00Z 2013-01-27T10:40:47Z Inquest rules Jarvas Thomas shooting was a homicideBy NICOLE HARBOUR - H&R Staff Writer Herald-Review.com
January 24, 2013 3:01 am  • 

DECATUR — Testimony at the inquest hearing of Jarvas Thomas, a 21-year-old Decatur man who was shot to death Dec. 10, allegedly by Bryson Harden, 16, and Patrick Hutton, 17, indicated that the homicide was unprovoked and that Harden was the shooter in the case.

“Was there any indication … that Jarvas L. Thomas made any threatening moves or was in possession of any type of weapon that may have caused consternation by (Harden and Hutton)?” asked Macon County Coroner Michael Day, addressing Decatur police detective Joe Patton during the hearing Wednesday.

“No, there was no indication from the witness (who was with Thomas when he was shot), Patrick Hutton or even Bryson Harden that the victim had a weapon or made any kind of threat,” Patton said. “They (Harden and Hutton) simply asked if he had the drugs, and then pulled out a gun and shot him.”

Patton testified that at 11:01 p.m. Dec. 10, police responded to Galloway Park in reference to Thomas, who was found dead in the driver’s seat of a white car.

“He (Thomas) had been with a friend or family member who said he and Thomas had received a phone call from Patrick Hutton’s cellphone number … and that Patrick and Bryson Harden, a young white male in his teens, requested that they (Thomas and the witness) meet them” so Hutton and Harden could purchase an ounce of marijuana, Patton said.

The witness, who was a passenger in Thomas’ vehicle, told police that after arriving at the park, they were approached by Harden and Hutton.

“According to the witness, Bryson Harden approached the driver … asked if he had the marijuana and then pulled a weapon from his pocket, fired one shot and stashed the marijuana,” Patton said.

Thomas, who died from a single gunshot wound to the left side of his head, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:10 a.m. Dec. 11 by a Macon County deputy coroner.

“Was there any indication that (Hutton) in any way participated in the actual attack on Jarvas Thomas?” Day asked.

“There was only one gunman, and there was only one shot fired,” said Patton, “and all evidence in the case points to Bryson Harden.”

After hearing the evidence, a coroner’s jury ruled Thomas’ death a homicide.

Harden and Hutton, who are both facing first-degree murder charges in the case, are due in court Feb. 14 for pretrial hearings.

nharbour@herald-review.com|421-7963

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