Man convicted of attempted murder of UGA student receives 55-year sentence


Zarren Rasool Hamilton Garner

By Joe Johnson

A Superior Court judge this week handed down a 55-year sentence to a man who attempted to murder a University of Georgia student during an armed robbery two years ago.

After a weeklong trial in Clarke County Superior Court in April, a jury found 22-year-old Zarren Rasool Hamilton Garner guilty of criminal attempt to commit murder, armed robbery, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, and two counts each of aggravated assault with intent to rob, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Western Judicial Circuit Judge Lawton Stephens on Monday sentenced Garner to 50 years in prison and five years of probation.

The crimes for which Garner was convicted stem from an incident on April 22, 2019, when Athens-Clarke County police said Garner robbed at gunpoint a cellphone from a UGA student at Milledge Place Apartments.


shooting victim Tate Prezzano

A short time later, police said that Garner 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 while attempting to steal the victim’s Air Pods, according to police.

Though he had an address in Grayson, about 40 miles west of Athens, police said Garner was living on Huntington Road at the time of the armed robbery and shooting.

A Superior Court judge this week handed down a 55-year sentence to a man who attempted to murder a University of Georgia student during an armed robbery two years ago.

After a weeklong trial in Clarke County Superior Court in April, a jury found 22-year-old Zarren Rasool Alexander Garner guilty of criminal attempt to commit murder, armed robbery, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, and two counts each of aggravated assault with intent to rob, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Western Judicial Circuit Judge Lawton Stephens on Monday sentenced Garner to 50 years in prison and five years of probation.

The crimes for which Garner was convicted stem from an incident on April 22, 2019, when Athens-Clarke County police said Garner robbed at gunpoint a cellphone from a UGA student at Milledge Place Apartments.

A short time later, police said that Garner 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 while attempting to steal the victim’s Air Pods, according to police.

Though he had an address in Grayson, about 40 miles west of Athens, police said Garner was living on Huntington Road at the time of the armed robbery and shooting.

A Superior Court judge this week handed down a 55-year sentence to a man who attempted to murder a University of Georgia student during an armed robbery two years ago.

After a weeklong trial in Clarke County Superior Court in April, a jury found 22-year-old Zarren Rasool Alexander Garner guilty of criminal attempt to commit murder, armed robbery, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, and two counts each of aggravated assault with intent to rob, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Western Judicial Circuit Judge Lawton Stephens on Monday sentenced Garner to 50 years in prison and five years of probation.

The crimes for which Garner was convicted stem from an incident on April 22, 2019, when Athens-Clarke County police said Garner robbed at gunpoint a cellphone from a UGA student at Milledge Place Apartments.

A short time later, police said that Garner 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 while attempting to steal the victim’s Air Pods, according to police.

Though he had an address in Grayson, about 40 miles west of Athens, police said Garner was living on Huntington Road at the time of the armed robbery and shooting.

Police said that Garner was quickly identified from a sketch of the suspect created by a Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic artist.

The sketch was widely distributed to law enforcement and the public.

According to the GBI, immediately after the sketch was publicized by the media, numerous tips to law enforcement led to Garner being identified and arrested during a manhunt in Gwinnett County.

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