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Old 10-31-2004, 08:53 AM
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strongernow strongernow is offline
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Post ARTICLE: Cobb Co. Defendant guilty in fatal stabbing

Defendant guilty in bizarre, fatal stabbing

By DON PLUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 10/29/04


The aftermath of a bizarre slaying that had members of a Marietta family praying for deliverance came to an official close Friday with their prayers of thanks for a guilty verdict.

A Cobb County jury deliberated 8 hours before convicting Rodgerick Dane Swanson, 41, of murder in the July 13, 2003, stabbing death of Ronald Gresham, 47. Swanson was also convicted of stabbing Gresham's sister, Donita, 49, who survived.

Family members testified during the four-day trial that they did not know Swanson when he burst in on their Sunday afternoon dinner, naked and wielding two butcher knives.

Ronald Gresham, the only man at the dinner, confronted Swanson and was stabbed several times. As other women gathered children into locked rooms, Donita Gresham was stabbed as she tried to pull Swanson away from her mortally wounded brother, said prosecutor Tricia Hull.

"We are overjoyed," Amber Thomas, Donita Gresham's daughter, said following Friday's verdict. "It was hard to wait such a long time for the trial and it was scary thinking he might not be convicted."

Jurors were not told during the trial that the rampage was not Swanson's first. Charges in a similar attack, in which Swanson wore only boots, were dismissed in Fulton County.

"We are so glad he did not get away with this again," Thomas said as her mother and the half-dozen other family members who had attended the trial echoed her sentiments.

Swanson was being treated for a manic-depressive illness and admitted using marijuana and cocaine the day of the assault, but did not argue in court that he was mentally ill. After the assault he called a Labor Department job coach assigned to assist him and said he had had a nightmare that he had "hurt some people really bad," Hull said.

Three generations of the victim's family will be in court Thursday for Swanson's sentencing, Thomas said.
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:28 AM
haswtch haswtch is offline
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I'll say it was a nightmare. To me this points up the obvious flaw in a system that says you are EITHER crazy OR guilty.
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:34 AM
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strongernow strongernow is offline
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I don't understand why it was so hard for them to sentence this man! He was abviously no remorseful about he did and could have killed even more people if they hadn't escaped. We won't even start on all the flaws in Georgia's system!
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