continued from page The ….
continued from page
The counts against Ferguson are malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault on a peace officer, bias motivated intimidation of first responders, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Ferguson waived his right to a formal arraignment and entered the not guilty pleas. The case will now move into the discovery (evidence) phase. Judge Howard C. Kaufold, Jr., presided over the proceedings. Timothy G. Vaughn, District Attorney, Oconee Judicial Circuit, represented the State. Ferguson is being represented by Jerilyn Bell and Ali Rad of Georgia Capital Defenders, and Catherine Bernard and Jordan Johnson of Bernard and Johnson, LLC, all of Atlanta.
Harrison, 26, was working his first shift as a parttime officer with the Alamo Police Department when he was shot and killed in the parkinglot outsidethepolice station about 1 a.m. on Saturday, October 9, said GBI spokeswoman Natalie Ammons. She spoke at a news conference at the Wheeler County Courthouse where a command center was established by investigating authorities following the shooting and during the search for a single suspect in the shooting.
Ferguson was apprehended on October 10 following a manhunt in the Wheeler County area which lasted overnight. He was taken into custody without incident at his residence by members of the Georgia SWAT team and the U.S. Marshal’s Service, Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force. A “Blue Alert” was issued for Ferguson and a $17,500 reward was offered for information leading to his capture. Blue alerts are issued when a suspect accused of killing or seriously injuring a law enforcement officer remains at large. In a Sunday evening press conference following Ferguson’s capture, GBI Special Agent in Charge Lindsey Wilkes of Eastman said the shooting followed a Friday night incident in which Harrison apprehended a man who was known to be an associate of Ferguson’s.
Ferguson has had previous encounters with the law. He spent more than seven years in prison after being convicted of charges including theft by taking and aggravated assault on an officer in Wheeler County. He was released from the Coffee Correctional Facility in August 2006, Georgia Department of Corrections records show.
In 2020, Ferguson was arrested and charged with felony arson in the first degree following a fire on February 5, 2020, which displaced a mother and her children. He was booked into the Wheeler County Jail February 12, 2020, after an investigation by the state fire marshal, Wheeler County EMA/Fire and the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office.
Currently, Ferguson is being held in the Houston County Jail without bond.