Man accused in Lake Oconee mansion murder released from jail on technicality

Man accused of shooting, killing friend in Lake Oconee mansion released on bond

GREENE COUNTY, Ga. — A man accused of killing his friend at a Lake Oconee mansion walked out of jail Monday evening, released on a technicality.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne was the only reporter at the Greene County Jail when Chad Haufler was released on bond.

[READ: 'This was not murder.' Family of suspect accused of killing 'close friend' speaks to Channel 2]

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Winne spoke with Haufler one-on-one about the night his friend, Marc Dimos, 51, was killed.

“First of all, I’d like to give my condolences to Marc's family, and let everybody know that he was my friend,” Haufler told Winne.

“You guilty of his murder?” Winne asked Haufler.

“I mean, I think it was self-defense. I wouldn't say I murdered him. It was self-defense,” Haufler said.

Haufler's wife posted their $1.9 million vacation home as bond, so her husband could be released while he awaits trial.

Police said Haufler called 911 around 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 29, to report the shooting at his home on Jones Bluff Court in Reynolds at Lake Oconee.

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In the 911 call, Haufler said he had shot an intruder in his home. When deputies arrived, Dimos was found dead in the basement.

“This is an unusual situation. His wife and family have access to large amounts of money,” the judge said Monday morning during a hearing.

Defense lawyer Manny Arora said Haulfer’s wife, Monica, posting the opulent vacation home to meet the $750,000 bond set by Chief Judge William Prior Jr.

“I’m just thankful and grateful my husband’s getting out on bond today,” Monica Haufler told Winne.

Arora said under Georgia law, Haufler had to get a reasonable bond at the hearing.

“Any time someone's arrested, they have 90 days to indict them. That didn't happen in this case, so he had to get a bond,” Aurora said.

Green County District Attorney Stephen Bradley said he elected not to bring Haufler's case to the grand jury when it met earlier this month because he wants to make sure all the reports on the case, including those pertaining to the physical evidence, are in before the case is presented to the grand jury for indictment on whatever charges Haufler will ultimately face.

He said the murder warrant taken out against Haufler for the killing of Dimos-- a step before indictment-- was still pending.

“He is entitled to a reasonable bond. But it doesn't mean that he now satisfies all of the conditions of someone who is not a flight risk,” Bradley said.

“Did you tell a GBI agent you hope you didn't go upstairs and get your gun?” Winne asked Haufler.

“I don't recall that,” Haufler said.

“When you heard the judge set a bond, what happened inside?” Winne asked Haufler.

“Just overjoyed. I believe in the justice system, so I’m not going anywhere,” Haufler said.

Haulfer’s bond order said he cannot leave Greene County without prior court approval, he has to surrender his passport and he has to wear an ankle monitor.