Lonnie Ragan murder trial kicks off - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Lonnie Ragan murder trial kicks off

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By Natalie Fultz

COLUMBUS - For nearly the past three years, Lonnie Ragan has been sitting behind bars. He's facing multiple charges for the shooting that claimed the life of his sister-in-law, Holly Hearn.

The shooting occurred on August 26, 2011. The victim was Ragan's wife's sister. At the time, Ragan was allegedly separated from his wife who would frequently stay at her sister's home.

"The state asserts that Lonnie Jacob Ragan attempted to kidnap Brad Aker at gunpoint then went to the home of Holly and Ryan Heard...shot and killed Holly Hearn..shot and wounded Ryan Hearn in the presence of their children," Jennifer Cooley, assistant district attorney says.

Reports indicate that Ragan went to the Hearn's home to discuss custody of his son. He allegedly used a shotgun sending one bullet to Hearn's chest. Hearn was armed with a fully loaded 38 caliber handgun, but she didn't fire a shot.

Ragan allegedly fled the scene before turning himself into Harris County authorities. His weapon was recovered a short time later.

Ragan's father, Walter, was also arrested days after the murder for making threats in relation to the shooting. In court, Walter said the threats were related to drug activity, not the alleged murder.    

This isn't Lonnie Ragans first time behind bars. Back in 2004, he plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter after fatally stabbing a man during a street fight in Ohio. Ragan was sentenced to four years.

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the trial is expected to last through the week.

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