BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. –
It’s been three years since Tony Collum was shot by Mark Harris.
In June 2012, Harris was arrested and charged with multiple felonies after the two men got into an argument that turned violent at Harris’s Cartersville home.
“I’m glad the trial’s over,” said Collum, “I didn’t go to the closings, I didn’t go to the verdict, I’ve actually gone on with my life and glad to be alive.”
On Wednesday, a Bartow County jury found Harris not guilty on all charges related to the shooting.
“When I talked to Mark today, it’s really just one of relief, and wanting to get back into his life, and do the things that he wants to do,” said Lester Tate, Harris’s attorney who spoke on behalf of Harris because he was out of town.
“Our sole defense in the entire trial was the defense of justification,” said Tate, “that was that he was, under the circumstances presented to him, entitled to use deadly force to protect himself and his son.”
In 2012, FOX 5 News spoke with Collum just days after the shooting.
At the time, he said his 15-year-old daughter had come home one night high on drugs. Collum said she told him she got the drugs from Harris’s 17-year-old son Parker Harris.
Police charged Parker after finding less than one ounce of marijuana and drug-related items in the family home.
Collum said he went to Harris’s house and said a civil discussion between the two men turned violent, ending with Collum being shot twice.
“No matter what happened to me, I really think that I was lucky,” said Collum, “I’m glad to be alive, but I think parents should still be proactive.”
And Attorney Tate said a verdict like this should send a message to all Georgians.
“It certainly sends a message out there that if you use a firearm in protection of your family or your home or yourself, juries are going to be sympathetic to that argument,” said Tate.