Derek Renfroe sentenced to life in prison for 2017 murder in Paulding County
On November 26, 2019, Paulding Chief Superior Court Judge Tonny S. Beavers accepted the guilty plea by Derek Jess Renfroe for the murder of Beth-Bishop Harris. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of parole with an additional thirty-five years to serve on probation, if he is paroled. His charges included Malice Murder, Possession of a Knife during the Commission of a Felony, Arson in the First Degree and Tampering with Evidence. Renfroe was also sentenced to an additional five years to serve, stemming from incidents while he was in incarcerated in the Paulding County Detention Center, including two counts of Unlawful Acts of Violence in a Penal Institution, Aggravated Assault, and Battery. The murder charge was made after Paulding Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 4408 Hiram Sudie Road, Hiram, Georgia in reference to a death investigation on August 22, 2017. On their arrival, Beth Bishop Harris was found deceased inside of the residence. Firefighters also responded to the scene to extinguish a fire in the house that had been set by Renfroe. Paulding Sheriff’s Investigators worked with Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agents to locate Derek Renfroe, who had fled the scene of the crime. Renfroe confessed to murdering Beth Bishop there at the home in the early morning hours of that day. He has been in custody since the date of his arrest. Many family members of Beth Bishop Harris were in attendance during the plea hearing this morning. Ms. Bishop had two daughters and a son, and her parents and numerous other family members were present to see the plea and sentencing. Senior Assistant District Attorney Emily Harsen read victim impact statements to the Court from Ms. Bishops’ mother and two daughters and Ms. Bishops’ niece made a powerful impact statement as well. Ms. Bishop will be remembered by those who loved her as being one of the kindest, most positive and generous people that they had ever known.