Assistant District Attorney Dan Hiatt prepared to try the case of the State of Georgia vs. Andrew Magnuson this week in front of the Honorable Christopher Edwards. This morning, the defendant entered a guilty plea to two counts of Enticing a Child and one count of Attempted Kidnapping. The defendant was sentenced to 50 years with the first 30 years to be served in prison followed by 20 years on probation. The case was back in court after the defendant was granted Habeas Corpus relief.
On October 29, 2000, the defendant approached an 8 year old and a 9 year old boy in Three Ponds Park in Peachtree City. He gave them a ride on his golf cart, discussed inappropriate sexual subjects, urged them to come over to his house, and exchanged information with one of the victim children. On October 30, 2000, now Assistant Chief Stanley Pye and other officers were performing surveillance in the vicinity of Oak Grove Elementary school when they encountered the defendant on his golf cart. The defendant had a knife, rope, and duct tape. He later admitted in an interview that he was planning to abduct a child forcibly if necessary. He also admitted to the incident the day before with the two boys.
In 2002, the defendant entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to confinement. During the course of his prison sentence, the defendant applied for Habeas Corpus relief, meaning that he believed he was illegally detained. In 2015, a court granted his petition for Habeas Corpus, and the case was placed back on a trial calendar.
Assistant District Attorney Hiatt diligently prepared this case for trial despite the difficulty in trying a 19 year old case. District Attorney Coker said of the resolution, “[t]his sentence is another reflection of my office’s commitment to the prosecution of those who prey upon children. Even in the face of adversity, my office, law enforcement, and the victims persevered, and justice prevailed in the courtroom today.”