Local News

December 7, 2011

Dalton woman to face murder charge in February

Husband sentenced to prison

ELLIJAY — When longtime Dalton resident John Patrick Hade died of blunt force trauma to the head sometime in the summer of 2007, it came from a “very strong, angry, determined individual,” said the district attorney of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit.

“Shawn Ivey was in a very violent rage,” said DA Joe Hendricks in Gilmer County Superior Court on Monday, noting Ivey was in court pleading guilty “to the taking of another man’s life.”

But Ivey, 36, who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was given a 20-year sentence, with 12 years in prison, by Judge Brenda Weaver at the end of an all-day sentencing hearing, testified that his wife, Loretta Hade Ivey, 48, of Dalton, killed John Hade. She was married to Hade at one time.

Shawn Ivey also must pay court fees and reimburse the district attorney’s and public defender’s offices for expenses they incurred, including the DA’s office flying a man from Hawaii to testify in earlier court proceedings.

Loretta Ivey must face the same counts Shawn Ivey was initially indicted for — malice murder, aggravated assault, concealing a death and abandonment of a body. She is scheduled to appear in court in February.

Hade’s remains were discovered on the western side of Fort Mountain near the Murray-Gilmer county line in September 2010.

Part of the plea deal Shawn Ivey made with the district attorney’s office in lieu of going to trial — and possibly getting a life sentence if found guilty — was that he would get a sentencing hearing where his attorney, Circuit Public Defender Michael Parham, could present “mitigation evidence” in an attempt to lessen his sentence for voluntary manslaughter.

Former jailmates testify

The district attorney’s office called two of Shawn Ivey’s former jailmates to the stand, Dean Steinbring and Harley Hubbard.

Steinbring told the court Ivey didn’t talk much at first, but began crying after a church group came in to hold a service.

“I asked him if he was all right and he said, ‘I’ve done some awful things,’” Steinbring testified. “I asked him if he wanted to talk and he said he had beat somebody to death with a rock ... (Ivey) referred to (Hade) as a friend but said he snapped and started beating on him ... he said he placed the body on Fort Mountain.”

Steinbring said Ivey threatened him after he reported the conversation to a jail officer and “put his thumb across his throat” in a slashing manner.

Hubbard said Ivey “hinted around that he needed (Hade) out of the way” and “said he used a hammer” to attack Hade. He added Ivey said, “We got rid of the body,” referring to his wife, whose name he couldn’t remember.

Parham asked Steinbring why he listened to Ivey when that should have been a church member’s role, and he replied, “I just asked him if he needed to talk.”

Hendricks then read Ivey’s criminal history to the court, including four felonies for burglaries, possession of meth and cruelty to a child (slapping Loretta Ivey’s daughter), as well as misdemeanors of several moving violations incurred during a car chase with authorities.

A former girlfriend, Chris Brooks, described Ivey as a “binge drinker.” Star Bridges, an abuse counselor where Ivey went to rehab, testified he had been “compliant” during the program and celebrated a year of sobriety recently.

Jerry Guinn, who lived with Loretta Ivey from the beginning of 2009 until the time she was arrested in May of this year, testified on Shawn Ivey’s behalf and said Loretta Ivey was “violent when she was drinking” and had struck him in the forehead with an ashtray and also knocked a tooth loose on two occasions.

Guinn said Loretta Ivey had him throw a large rock into the Coosawattee River, but she “didn’t tell me anything about the rock, except that it came out of the river.” He added that the rock was different than other rocks in a garden at the home where Loretta Ivey lived outside Ellijay, like it “didn’t belong there.”

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