Special agent testifies
Special Agent Dustin Hamby with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation appeared for the prosecution, but was first questioned by Parham.
“Loretta Ivey told you she was there when the murder occurred and that she was not there, both, didn’t she?” Parham asked.
“Yes,” Hamby replied, then later said Loretta Ivey told him she was in the bathroom when Shawn Ivey struck Hade.
Hamby told Parham he interviewed Loretta Ivey first and she eventually led investigators to where Hade’s remains were found.
“Loretta said Shawn murdered John Hade, (that she) saw him standing there with a rock,” Hamby testified. “She said Shawn hit him on the top of the head with the rock, and that they took the body to the county line to what people called ‘the kudzu patch.’”
Hamby said when Hade’s remains were discovered there was a crack in his skull that was eventually determined to be “blunt force trauma” by the state crime lab.
Hamby said when he interviewed Shawn Ivey in Rabun County, Ivey said he “possibly could have murdered John Hade.”
“He said he was a severe alcoholic and doesn’t remember (what happened),” Hamby said.
Hendricks asked Hamby if both defendants were drinking heavily that night and Hamby replied they were.
Shawn Ivey takes stand
When Parham questioned Shawn Ivey about the evening of Hade’s death, Ivey testified that he and Loretta had gone to a store and bought beer and cigarettes after he got off work, and that he “passed out” from drinking around 8:30 or 9 p.m.
“I woke up needing to use the bathroom really bad,” he said. “I then went to the fridge and drank a beer ... and went outside ... a few feet and stumbled over John Hade, face down in the dirt. I kicked him and said, ‘Get up,’ and noticed Loretta was crying. I felt for his pulse and said, ‘He’s dead,’ and Loretta said, ‘Damn right he’s dead — I killed him.’”
Shawn Ivey said he told Loretta “people will come looking for him (Hade),” and he said she replied, “No one will come looking for him except my sister.” Later testimony revealed Hade was staying with her sister.
Parham asked Shawn Ivey who decided to dispose of the body, and he said it was “by mutual agreement.”
“I had no animosity whatsoever toward John Hade — I still don’t understand why she killed him,” he said.
Shawn Ivey said after they disposed of Hade’s body — by rolling him down an embankment off the side of the highway on Fort Mountain — they returned to the house where Loretta “picked up all his stuff” and threw it in back of a pickup truck at the home, where it was taken to the dump with a load of garbage the next day.
Ivey said they married because Loretta told him if they got married they wouldn’t have to testify against one another. They also agreed to say Hade “walked off to Tennessee” if anyone asked where he was.
When Parham asked Ivey about the rock in question, Ivey replied, “I don’t even know where a rock came into the equation,” and said he later found a frying pan in the yard that had rust on it that made him “wonder.”
“Did you ask her if she did it?” Parham queried Ivey.
“I knew she did it — I didn’t have to ask,” Ivey replied. “Believe it or not, I was relieved when I was arrested because I got away from her.”
He then denied saying to Steinbring and Hubbard that he killed Hade with a rock, and told Hendricks, “When (Loretta) said nobody will miss him, something in my head clicked.”