GBI exhumes body of man killed at Camden County church in 1985
CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – Investigators with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday exhumed the body of a man who was killed at a Camden County church. The GBI said it’s hoping to obtain DNA evidence in the investigation into the 1985 murders of Harold Swain and his wife, Thelma. It took investigators took two hours to exhume Harold Swain’s body. When asked about her thoughts on Wednesday’s development with the GBI exhuming Harold Swain’s body, she said: “I think it is a good thing, you know? Harold Swain’s siblings told News4Jax that they were not aware of Wednesday’s disinterment and will be following up with the GBI.
GBI searches home of man at center of overturned conviction in 1985 double murder
WAYNESVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Thursday executed a search warrant at the home of Erik Sparre and his mother, who was found dead last month. Dennis Perry was found guilty of those murders, but a judge overturned that conviction after the GBI reopened the case. Agents continue to work to determine what involvement Erik Sparre had in the Swain’s deaths. “That weekend, my brother was with me.”Despite DNA evidence, Erik Sparre has not been named a suspect in the Swain murders. The words that Head said he recalled were similar to those his family told police that Erik Sparre used in 1986.
Woman whose DNA evidence was pivotal in overturned murder conviction found dead
The GBI later said it was investigating Gladys Sparre’s death. The deceased has been identified as Gladys Sparre, age 79. The Gladys Sparre death investigation remains active and ongoing.https://t.co/9QkZ4FvKgN pic.twitter.com/RCb4YFXv5X — GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) July 20, 2020A friend who worshiped with Gladys Sparre described her as a gentle woman. Court documents show Erik Sparre was arrested a year after the murders but ultimately the state did not pursue charges against Erik Sparre. In February of this year, a GIP investigator obtained a voluntary hair DNA sample from Gladys Sparre.
Judge grants new trial in 1985 murder of Georgia couple
BRUNSWICK, Ga. A judge decided Friday to grant a Georgia mans request for a new trial in the 1985 shooting deaths of a husband and wife. The 58-year-old Perry has been in prison for 20 years, but his attorneys asked for a new trial after DNA evidence emerged tying another suspect to the crime scene. But Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett said in his order granting Perry a new trial that the DNA test linking Sparre to the scene would have resulted in a different verdict at Perrys 2003 trial. Dennis Perry was convicted of double murder eighteen years after the fact without any physical evidence connecting him to the crime scene, Scarlett wrote. Newly discovered DNA evidence links another suspect, one whose alibi for the night of the murders may have been fabricated, to the key piece of evidence recovered from the crime scene.
Judge could decide soon on new trial in 1985 Georgia murders
BRUNSWICK, Ga. A judge says he could decide by Friday whether a Georgia man should get a new trial in the 1985 shooting deaths of a husband and wife. But his attorneys are seeking a new trial after DNA evidence emerged tying another suspect to the crime scene. Perry was convicted in 2003 largely on the testimony of his ex-girlfriends mother, who said Perry had told her he planned to kill Harold Swain. Sparres second wife, Rhonda Tyson, testified that Sparre told her one day in the late 1980s that he killed the Swains. Instead, Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett must decide whether the DNA test linking Sparre to the scene would have resulted in a different verdict at Perrys 2003 trial.
Judge could grant man convicted in 1985 Camden County church murders a new trial
In May, Perry’s attorneys filed an extraordinary motion for new trial based on new DNA evidence discovered in the case. Court documents show the new DNA evidence from the hairs excludes Dennis Perry and includes a man named Erik Sparre. “Dennis Perry, as well as all of his maternal relatives, would be excluded,” said Gloria Dimick, with Mitotyping Technologies. Often times, she has brought with her loved ones, including the couple’s grandchildren who call Dennis Perry “Papa Sunshine.”Loved ones have not been able to see Dennis Perry behind bars since March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles tentatively granted Dennis Perry clemency with a release date in September.
Despite conviction, authorities reopen 1985 Woodbine murder case
Published: May 13, 2020, 9:56 pm Updated: May 14, 2020, 6:51 amKINGSLAND, Ga. – The case of a couple shot to death at a Woodbine church has been reopened because of some possible new evidence, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday. In 2003, the case was closed after Dennis Perry was convicted of the murders. But the GBI will re-examine the investigation and evidence in the case to determine the significance of the possible new evidence, the Bureau said in a news release. The GBI and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office reopened the case Wednesday. Anyone with information pertinent to this investigation is asked to call authorities at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).