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Sanders Booking

Guilty on all 15 counts. That was the verdict of a Toombs County jury Thursday morning against the man charged with the double homicide in Vidalia last year of a woman he met through social media and her mother.

Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tripp Fitzner and Assistant District Attorney Jessica Wilson spent three days presenting the case against Joshua Sanders who was accused of the murders of Latory Harden and Pamela Harden on January 6, 2022. Sanders was represented by his court-appointed attorney Lew Tippett of the Public Defender’s Office.

The State called well over a dozen witnesses, law enforcement officers and experts to present its case. Contrarily, Sanders was the only one to testify on his own behalf, and while he never denied killing the women, Sanders claimed he did so in self-defense.

According to testimony from expert witnesses, Latory Harden was holding her infant son at the time Sanders shot her in the head. Pamela Harden had received a phone call before the shooting that her daughter was in trouble and when she arrived to try to help, Sanders shot her multiple times as well. In all, Fitzner said no less that 16 spent shell casing were found at the scene with three of those believed to be from Latory’s murder and 13 from Pamela’s.

It took the jury less 30 minutes to return the guilty verdicts which includes multiple charges of malice murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, felony murder, aggravated assault, and cruelty to children in the first degree. Sanders was also charged with theft by taking because he fled the scene in Pamela Harden’s 2021 Nissan Rogue which was later found in Alabama. Sanders was arrested a few days later in Flagstaff, Arizona and extradited back to Toombs County. He was indicted by a Toombs County Grand Jury on April 21, 2022.

After hearing the verdict read by the jury foreperson Thursday morning, Chief Superior Court Judge Robert Reeves imposed an overall sentence of life without the possibility of parole against Sanders.

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