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Police Solve Cold Case – Racially Motivated Murder of Timothy Coggins in 1983

Good Cops just don’t give up solving crimes…

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

Timothy Coggins – Brutally murdered in 1983

Man killed in 1983 for ‘socializing’ with white woman, DA says

Suspects arrested in the 1983 slaying of a black man in Georgia were angry that he was socializing with a white woman, Spalding County District Attorney Benjamin Coker told CNN.

Timothy Coggins, 23, was found stabbed to death on October 9, 1983, near a high-tension power line in Sunny Side, a town about 30 miles south of Atlanta.
The 34-year-old cold case, which broke in October with the arrest of four men and a woman, was widely believed to be racially motivated, though no suspects or motive had previously been uncovered.
Then-investigator Larry Campbell told the local newspaper at the time that there were bloodstains and tire tracks in the field where Coggins’ body was found. Both his lungs had been punctured, he said.
“He had been worked over with a knife pretty well,” Campbell told the Griffin Daily News. “He had defense wounds where he’d thrown up an arm and so forth.”
At a Wednesday bond hearing for suspects Frank Gebhardt, 59, and William Moore, 58, Corker accused them of acting brutally and having racist intentions.
“The murder of Timothy Coggins was due to Coggins socializing with a white female and that Coggins had been stabbed multiple times and drug behind a truck by Franklin Gebhardt and William Moore Sr.,” Coker told the court, according to CNN affiliate WSB-TV.
From left, Bill Moore Sr. and Frankie Gebhardt have been charged with murder in Coggins' death, while Gregory Huffman, Lamar Bunn and his mother, Sandra Bunn, have been charged with obstruction, police say.

From left, Bill Moore Sr. and Frankie Gebhardt have been charged with murder in Coggins’ death, while Gregory Huffman, Lamar Bunn and his mother, Sandra Bunn, have been charged with obstruction, police say.

The suspects — who are charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing a death — were denied bond.
Calls and emails to Gebhardt and Moore’s lawyers were not returned.
Three other individuals charged with obstructing the investigation into Coggins’ death remain out on bond, Coker said. Two of the suspects were working in law enforcement at the time of their alleged crimes, police say.
Coker’s statement in court Wednesday is in line with the recollections of Coggins’ niece.
Heather Coggins told CNN last month that most of her uncle’s friends were white, which might not have sat well with some folks in middle Georgia during the early 1980s.
 
 

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1983 Racially Motivated Murder Finally Solved With Arrest of 2 Cops, and 3 Others in Georgia

Sometimes Justice is slow. Kudos to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for pursuing this one.

Timothy Collins murdered in 1983 by at least two white men, whose crimes were covered up by local cops.

 

Five arrested in Georgia — including two law enforcement officers — over 1983 murder of black man Timothy Coggins

A decades-old investigation in the U.S. state of Georgia into the murder of a black man in 1983 culminated in the arrest of five white people on Friday, including two law enforcement officers charged with hindering the probe, officials said.

The body of Timothy Coggins, 23, was found on Oct. 9, 1983, in a grassy area near power lines in the community of Sunnyside, about 30 miles (48 km) south of downtown Atlanta.

He had been “brutally murdered” and his body had signs of trauma, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Investigators spoke to people who knew Coggins, but the investigation went cold, Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said at a news conference.

This past March, new evidence led investigators from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Spalding County to re-examine the case.

Dix did not provide details on the nature of the evidence, saying more tips were received after authorities, over the summer, announced to the media the case was re-opened.

Some witnesses confessed they lived with knowledge about the case for years, but were afraid to come forward, Dix said.

“It has been an emotional roller coaster for everybody that was involved,” Dix said.

Police arrested five people on Friday in connection with the slaying. Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr, 58, were each charged with murder, aggravated assault and other crimes.

Authorities did not immediately say where Gebhardt and Moore lived.

Gregory Huffman, 47, was charged with obstruction and violation of oath of office, Dix said. Huffman was a detention officer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office but his employment was terminated after he was arrested.

Lamar Bunn, a police officer in the town of Milner, which is south of Spalding County, was also arrested and charged with obstruction, as was Sandra Bunn, 58. She is Lamar’s mother, according to Atlanta television station WXIA.

Investigators are convinced the murder was racially motivated, Dix said.

“There is no doubt in the minds of all investigators involved that the crime was racially motivated and that if the crime happened today it would be prosecuted as a hate crime,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

Several members of Coggins’ family appeared at the news conference where authorities announced the arrests.

The family held out for justice all this time, said Heather Coggins, a niece of the victim.

“Even on my grandmother’s death bed, she knew that justice would one day be served,” she said.

It was not immediately clear if any of the five arrested people had an attorney, and they could not be reached for comment.

Dix promised more arrests in the case, as the investigation continues.

 

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