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Man charged with attempted murder of UGA student files bizarre bond motion

By Joe Johnson

A man who is accused of the attempted murder of a University of Georgia student two years ago was recently denied a bizarre handwritten motion requesting a bond hearing.

Zarren Rasool Alexander Garner, 22, of Grayson, is under indictment and in jail without bail for crimes he allegedly committed on April 22, 2019.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, Garner robbed at gunpoint a cellphone from a UGA student at Milledge Place Apartments, and a short time later assaulted Tate Prezzano, a 22-year-old UGA junior and lacrosse player from Alpharetta while the student was waiting for a bus near his apartment in the 2100 block of South Milledge Avenue. Garner allegedly shot Prezzano multiple times in the head and neck area during an attempt to steal the victim’s AirPods, according to police.

Tate Prezzano

A grand jury subsequently indicted Garner for criminal attempt to commit murder, armed robbery, four counts of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The indictment notes that the laser sights of Garner's gun were activated during both incidents.

The first student was not injured and Spezzano was release from the hospital nearly a week after he was shot with expectations he would make a full recovery.

Local police and Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agents arrested Garner the day after the armed robbery and shooting at his mother’s house near Grayson.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Last week, on Feb. 18, Garner mailed from the jail a handwritten motion requesting that bond for his release pending trial be set at $50,000.

The motion does not enumerate the grand jury's charges that are pending against him, but states that he was charged with “the possession of un-American thoughts.”

Western Judicial Circuit Judge Lawton Stephens denied the motion the day after it was filed, but not because of anything Garner stated in the document.

Stephens denied the motion because Garner is represented by an attorney, and the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that a person cannot represent themselves and also be represented by an attorney.

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