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Athens man accused of hit-and-run death of UGA student denied bond

Donterris Jovan Gresham

By Joe Johnson

After being locked up at the county jail for over two months, an Athens man accused of killing a University of Georgia student in a hit-and-run collision was denied bond this week by a Clarke County Superior Court judge.

Judge Lawton Stephens on Wednesday denied 29-year-old Donterris Jovan Gresham’s motion for bond on the basis that if released, Gresham would pose a significant threat or danger to the community and also posed a risk of committing a felony while awaiting trial.

Gresham has yet to be indicted, but he was charged by Athens-Clarke County police in connection with the Oct. 9 death of 20-year-old UGA junior Ariana Zarse.

Ariana Zarse

The charges include first-degree homicide by vehicle, hit and run Involving serious injury or death, failure to obey a traffic control device, driving too fast for conditions, and driving while unlicensed.

According to police, Gresham was the driver of a Honda Accord that struck and killed Zarse as she and a friend crossed East Broad Street near Foundry Street.

According to a police report, Zarse and a friend were walking on railroad tracks that are located on East Broad and the tracks “were touching and parallel to an officially marked crosswalk. Yield signs warning of the railroad crossing were also present."

Gresham fled the scene, but the Big Oak Circle resident surrendered four days later, after the Honda was found abandoned on Berlin Street and police publicly disseminated his photograph through the media.

Zarse, a native of Austin, TX was director of social events for the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and a member of UGA’s class of 2023. She was studying marketing and public relations.

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