By Mark Thomason, Publisher:
Donald Anthony Shearouse has waited since 2011 to get his case to trial. Shearouse was accused of rape, aggravated sexual battery, and sexual battery by the State of Georgia. The charges dated back five years, when two females, Carolyn Shearouse and Shandi Kolacz, stated Shearouse touched them inappropriately and attempted to rape Kolacz.
The case finally was scheduled on the court calender for Monday, December 12. The presiding judge was John Worcester. Attorney David Farnham represented Shearouse; Monday and Tuesday of this week involved jury selection.
Wednesday, the first witnesses were called to testify. Fannin County Lieutenant Investigator Justin Turner had investigated the case. He delivered testimony from the witness stand for the state. Farnham then posed questions to Turner during cross-examination, which seemed to frustrate Turner.
Over the next two days, both alleged victims, as well as a series of witnesses gave testimony. Assistant District Attorney’s Michael Ray and Frank Wood were the primary acting prosecutors for D.A. Alison Sosebee’s office. At times, the jurors witnessed highly emotional testimony as the alleged victims were examined and cross-examined. Throughout the trial, the state offered no physical evidence nor any forensic evidence.
Closing arguments began Friday morning, December 16. Attorney David Farnham thanked the jurors; he reminded them a person shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Farnham then stated he believed the state had not provided any evidence that showed his client had committed a crime.
In just a little over a hour after the closing arguments, the jurors returned with a unanimous verdict. Shearouse was found not guilty on all three charges; he was acquitted completely.
The Focus spoke with several jurors after the trial; all seemed to agree that not only did the state have lack of evidence, but they also felt the state tried to manipulate evidence presented by Farnham in order to assist in a conviction.
*Fannin Focus website will present a in-depth detailed account of the Shearouse trial next week.