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Samuels re-indicted in Hefner's death

A Thomson man was re-indicted earlier this week on charges stemming from the March 2004 death of a Thomson woman.

Dannie Lee Samuels was indicted Monday on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated battery, concealing a death and three counts of statutory aggravating circumstances in the death of 53-year-old Barbara Hefner.

Ms. Hefner's body was found at Folly Lake March 6, 2004 after family members reported her missing earlier in the day. According to the indictment, Hefner was strangled at her Whiteoak Road home.

Mr. Samuels was arrested and charged March 19, 2004. Both Ms. Hefner and Mr. Samuels were employed at Augusta Coating and Manufacturing Company in McDuffie County.

Mr. Samuels was initially indicted in June 2005, but District Attorney Dennis Sanders said Monday's re-indictment was a "precaution" based on the outcome of a recent federal case.

"There's so many loopholes and technicalities in the law that we just wanted to make sure we didn't have any," he said.

Mr. Sanders said the case could go to trial as soon as March.

Jason B. Smith constributed to this report.



Web posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005











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