Georgia men indicted in racially motivated 1983 slaying

(CNN) Two white guys accused of killing a dark man more than three years ago will check out trial after a grand jury indicted them on countless counts, including felony murder.

Timothy Coggins, 23, was located brutally stabbed to death about October 9, 1983, on Sunny Side, a village about 30 miles south of Atlanta. He previously been dragged behind a vehicle, authorities allege.

Last month, Franklin Gebhardt and William Moore Sr. had been arrested in the 1983 slaying. Spalding County District Attorney Benjamin Coker informed CNN these were angry that Coggins have been socializing with a white woman

On Tuesday, the grand jury indicted them on fees of felony murder, aggravated assault and concealing a death. It’s unclear when their trials will begin.

In a probable cause hearing the other day, Georgia Bureau of Investigation particular agent Jared Coleman testified that witnesses claimed the suspects bragged about the crime for years.

From left, Expenses Moore Sr. and Frankie Gebhardt have already been charged with murder in Coggins’ death, while Gregory Huffman, Lamar Bunn and his mom, Sandra Bunn, have already been charged with obstruction, law enforcement say.

Coleman testified Coggins had suffered numerous accidents at that time he was killed. He experienced five lacerations, 17 stab wounds and six slicing wounds, Coleman said, including several defensive accidents on his arms.

At one stage, Gebhardt and Moore allegedly tied a chain to Coggins and dragged him down the road behind a truck.

A magistrate judge ruled the other day there was enough facts to send the circumstance to a grand jury.

The 34-year-old cold case, which broke in October with the arrest of four men and a female , was widely believed to be racially motivated, though no motive had previously been uncovered.

Timothy Coggins’ relatives remember him as playful and always smiling.

Gebhardt and Moore, predicated on interviews with witnesses, appeared to believe these were “doing the proper thing” by killing Coggins, Coleman said, as though these were “protecting the white race from black people.”

One witness, Christopher Vaughn, was 10 years old when he heard Gebhardt admit, a few weeks after the killing, that he and Moore had stabbed Coggins “28 to 32 moments,” Coleman said.

Gebhardt as well threatened his wife, saying, “In the event that you keep on, you’re going to wind up like that n***** in the ditch,” the GBI agent testified.

The suspects allegedly tried to intimidate witnesses, Coleman said. During one interview, Gebhardt informed Coleman and a Spalding County deputy that if they supplied Gebhardt with a set of people who were talking to investigators, he would “make sure they are stop talking to us.”

Defense attorneys said after the probable trigger hearing that it was going to be an arduous trial, given enough time that offers passed since the crime.

“We’re going to have to piece it together, and it’s going to be difficult to piece together 1983 again,” Martin Lee, Gebhardt’s defense attorney, said.

1983 newspaper story on #TimothyCoggins’ murder offers greater detail on what would turn into a 34-year-old frosty case … until the other day. – Eliott C. McLaughlin (@EliottCNN) October 19, 2017

A key point of his defense will be challenging witnesses’ more than 30-year-old remembrances, he said.

“Mr. Coker has learned it. He cannot win this case,” said Harry Charles, the defense attorney representing Moore. “His witnesses are the scum.”

Asked to elaborate, Charles indicated these were involved with drugs.

In addition to Gebhardt and Moore, two police — Gregory Huffman and Lamar Bunn — were charged with obstruction, along with Bunn’s mother, Sandra.

Lamar Bunn formerly worked for the Lamar County Sheriff’s Workplace and is now a part-time officer with the police department in Milner, in regards to a 25-minute travel south of Sunny Part. He provides been suspended without pay out pending the results of the investigation, interim Milner Law enforcement Chief Michael Bailey said.

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