Five Arrested After Case In 1983 Murder of Georgia Black Man Is Reopened; Sheriff Classifies It as a Hate Crime

(Photo: New York Times)

On Friday, five people were arrested in Georgia, including two members of law enforcement, after a 1983 murder case was reopened when new evidence came to light.

Timothy Coggins, 23, was found dead on Oct. 9, 1983, in a grassy roadside area after being brutally murdered. According to Sheriff Darrell Dix of Spalding County, “If the crime happened today, it would be prosecuted as a hate crime.”

While Coggins would not comment on the nature of the new evidence that was discovered in March that led to the cold case being reopened, he did pledge to prosecute those responsible as well as “those who obstructed or hindered this investigation.”

Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr., 58, were charged with, among other charges, murder, aggravated assault, and concealing a death. Gregory Huffman, who had previously been a detention officer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office until he was fired Friday, was charged with violation of oath of office and obstruction.

Sandra Bunn, 58, and Lamar Bunn were also charged with obstruction.

Heather Coggins, the victim’s niece, said that she was relieved that her family was going to see justice served, even if her grandparents were no longer around to see their son’s death avenged.

Heather Coggins also stated that the authorities had been “extremely tight-lipped” about the case and that even the family didn’t know all the details.

“We’re waiting just like the world is to see what happened and what the details are,” she said.

SOURCE: The Grio