GREENE COUNTY, Ga. — A man accused of killing his friend at a Lake Oconee mansion had been found guilty in his death.
A jury in Greene County found Chad Haufler Sr. guilty on seven counts, including felony murder.
District Attorney Wright Barksdale said Haufler shot Marc Dimos after a night of heavy drinking in a posh lake house in late August 2018.
“The instant you heard the first guilty verdict, what happened in your heart?” Winne asked Dimos’ widow, Renee Dimos.
“It sank,” she said.
Winne was inside the courtroom as closing arguments wrapped up and the jury handed down their verdict.
Earlier in the day, Renee Dimos took the stand.
“I will never be able to hug him, kiss him or touch him in the middle of the night,” she told the court.
District Attorney Wright Barksdale said the evidence was clear in the case.
“There may have been a fight in that basement, but the defendant went way too far. Twenty five injuries to the victims face and then to run upstairs and get a .40 caliber handgun and shoot him,” Barksdale said. “Blood stain pattern evidence was pivotal in this case.”
Greene County Sheriff Donnie Harrison and the DA’s staff put together a forensic puzzle of evidence to prove Haufler was guilty.
“The scene in that basement told us the story of what happened,” Harrison said.
They also used the defendant’s own statements caught on body cam video against him.
“He was trying to (expiative) kill me. Choke me the (expiative) out and guess what? it didn’t work out for him,” Haufler said on the video.
“You maintain that Chad Haufler didn’t shoot him?” Winne asked attorney Manny Arora.
“Absolutely,” Arora said.
Haufler claimed self-defense in an interview with Winne shortly after the shooting happened.
“I remember fighting with Marc,” Haufler said. “I was protecting myself.”
“I’ve been to Chad’s house and I have prayed with him, and I have listened to him,” defense attorney Shaun Kent said during his closing argument. “These are people. And they deserve better. The state of Georgia is offering you nothing.”
Following the verdict, Dimos’ widow spoke.
“By the grace of God and the love of my family, I am standing here a stronger woman. You did not break me,” Renee Dimos said.
The judge sentenced Haufler to life in prison with the possibility of parole, plus five years.
As Haufler was escorted out of the courthouse, he told Winne he had no comment about the guilty verdict.
“Anything you want to say to his widow?” Winne asked Haufler.
Haufler remained silent.
As for the widow...
“They got justice for us,” Renee Dimos said.
Arora maintains his client never beat or shot Marc Dimos. He told Winne there will be a process in deciding on an appeal.
©2021 Cox Media Group