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Bond denied for woman accused of helping husband cover up homicide



AUGUSTA, Ga. – A woman accused of helping her husband cover up the slaying of an Augusta man last March was denied bond Wednesday.

Margaret Harris, 35, and her husband, 41-year-old Ronald Harris Jr., were indicted last month. Both are charged with burglary and concealing the death of another and her husband is also charged with murder.

The two are accused in the March 12 disappearance of 51-year-old John Scott Devore from his Third Street apartment.

During Harris’ Richmond County Superior Court bond hearing Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Katherine Tobergte said Devore was last seen by a friend whom he gave a ride March 12. He seemed in a hurry to meet someone, the friend told investigators, Tobergte said. He was reported missing two days later.

Richmond County sheriff’s investigators accessed Devore’s security system and found footage of a man and woman wearing gloves and rifling through Devore’s belongings inside his apartment, Tobergte said. The victim’s last cell call was to the Harrises’ phone. Photographs of the Harrises looked like the people who searched Devore’s apartment, Tobergte said.

Margaret Harris told investigators that they only went to the apartment to steal drugs. Ronald Harris eventually told investigators that he laid in wait for Devore outside his apartment and then strangled him, Tobergte said. He used the victim’s vehicle to dump his body along the state highway just outside of Wren. He also told investigators his wife helped clean the victim’s vehicle with bleach, Tobergte said.

Margaret Harris is on probation out of Jefferson County on an aggravated assault conviction from 2016. Since then, she has been arrested twice more – for theft in Jefferson County in 2018 and for aggravated assault in Burke County in 2018. Both charges are pending.

Judge Sheryl B. Jolly denied bond, finding Harris poses a danger to commit further crimes based onthis being her third felony arrest while on bond.