Laron Hayes, Jr. was found guilty April 24, 2019 at the Bradley County Court House of first degree murder in the death of Colby Rice which took place December 26, 2017 in south Bradley County.
After convicting Laron Hayes, Jr. of murder before noon, Wednesday, April 24th, the jury entered the sentencing phase of the trial at 12:30 P.M. The prosecution put on four witnesses, including the mother of murdered victim Colby Rice. Each witness talked about the heartache caused by the crime committed. One witness voiced his concern as to what Mr. Hayes is capable of doing if he gets out of prison. The defense brought in witnesses that indicated Mr. Hayes had been taking medications and that he had stated he blacked out during a portion of the episode that resulted in the shooting of Colby Rice.
During closing statements the prosecution asked for the maximum sentence allowed while the defense pleaded with the jury to consider a lesser sentence. Closing statements appeared to be listened to intently by the jurors.
In less than an hour the jury came back with a unanimous decision regarding sentencing.
They sentenced Mr. Hayes to life in prison plus 15 years for a crime utilizing a gun. They then sentenced him to six years each on two counts of aggravated assault with a $10,000.00 fine on each count and six years and a $10,000.00 fine on one count of terroristic threatening. All sentencing is to run consecutive. The Judge issued the sentencing order.
Judge Pope informed Mr. Hayes he has thirty days to appeal the verdict, if he so chooses. The lead prosecutor for this case was Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Frank Spain.