Child molestation defendant found dead in Georgia park

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A jury was deliberating the fate of a man charged with molesting an 11-year-old girl when his body was found in a Georgia park.

The Macon Telegraph reports 39-year-old Jermaine Bernard Anthony was present when his trial started Monday, but missed court sessions Wednesday and Thursday. Georgia law doesn’t require a defendant to be present once a trial has begun, and Anthony had posted bail.

His parents were in court, and he had told them he’d be there. They filed a missing person report Wednesday after their phone calls went to his voicemail.

The former gravedigger’s body was found the next day. The Telegraph reported that he apparently killed himself with a gunshot to the head.

Judge Howard Z. Simms declared a mistrial.

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Information from: The Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com

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