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Tuesday May 31st, 2016 2:53PM

Sheriff: April assault was not self-defense

By Rob Moore Reporter
CLARKESVILLE - A month after an assault initially thought to be self-defense, Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell says that was not the case.

Andrew Nelson Dover turned himself in to Habersham County authorities last week and now is charged with aggravated assault in the incident, which happened April 8 in the Hollywood community between Clarkesville and Turnerville.

"When we first looked at the case, it was basically a one-sided case," Terrell said. "When you looked at it from that view, it looked like self-defense. But after we finally got to look at all the evidence and got one piece of item back from the crime lab, it didn't add up to self-defense."

Terrell said Dover initially told deputies a Rabun County man came to his Hollywood Church Road home and accused him of owing money for a washing machine, saying the man pulled a gun on him.

"I preface that by saying when he threw the crowbar and it went through a rolled-up driver's window and hit the gentleman in the head," Terrell said. "There was no gun - the gun he said he pulled on him was not in his hand. It was in his pocket in a holster. That was proven by the amount of blood that was in the truck, on the steering wheel, everywhere. The gun had zero blood, the holster had zero blood on it, so he did not have the gun out when the crowbar came through the window, so it's the point of the threat was gone. If there had been a threat, the threat was gone when he threw the crowbar through the door glass and hit the gentleman in the head."

The evidence, and the interview with the injured man, changed the case in investigators' minds, Terrell said.

"That's how we got from self-defense to charging him with aggravated assault," Terrell said.

The victim, who suffered a skull fracture and had a brain bleed according to Terrell, is improving.

"Our investigators, Chance Oxner and James Minutello, got to interview him and he is doing a lot better, and he filled in a lot of the missing gaps from what happened that day out there at the residence," Terrell said.

Dover remains in the Habersham County Detention Center. Bond has not been set in the case.
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