After 24 years, family sees pregnant woman's cause of death changed from suicide

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A Channel 2 Action News investigation is getting results in a decades-old killing that was first ruled a suicide.
              
Now, 24 years later, a coroner and district attorney say they aren't sure who killed the young mother-to-be.
              
"Something happened to her that night that there's still a lot of questions about," said Candler County Coroner Sonny Morgan.
              
Julie Lynn died in January 1990 of a gunshot wound to her forehead. Her mother, Bobbi Mosley, always thought Julie's husband, Jim, pulled the trigger.
              
"I know he did it. I know he did it," said Mosley. "And I want justice for my daughter and for my grandbaby."
              
Now she has her best hope yet; the coroner has changed Julie's cause of death from “suicide” to “undetermined.” The change comes three years after Julie’s husband, Jim Lynn, killed his third wife.
               
"It doesn't say that my daughter killed herself and killed her son. It doesn't say that anymore. Thank God for that," said Mosley.

Last year, Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer examined the original case file, and asked retired GBI agent Ralph Stone to review the investigation, which was done by one of his colleagues.
              
"They just didn't do a complete investigation. I'm embarrassed to be quite honest with you. In 1990, we weren't dinosaurs," said Stone.
 
Julie had spent the day painting her house, doing laundry, and reading a baby book. The young newlywed was five months pregnant and planning for the future.
              
Jim Lynn said Julie had asked for a divorce that night. He told the sheriff he just said “OK” and left the house. But investigators never checked out holes in his timeline.
              
He said he left his house at 11:45 p.m., picked up beer and then drove to a friend's house. That friend wasn't interviewed until two months later, and said Jim arrived at 12:45 a.m., and then they got the beer.
              
Investigators never re-interviewed Jim Lynn, didn't check with the clerk at the convenience store where the beer was said to have been purchased, or look for a receipt.
             
The next morning, Jim Lynn went to see his wife's sister-in-law before heading back home.  She said Jim left to go to the house, but it didn't seem like more than 10 minutes before he returned, yelling that Julie had killed herself.
              
She said that drive would usually take about half an hour.   
              
"These are all big time red flags," said Stone, adding that there were even more at the crime scene.
              
Stone thinks the case agent should have questioned how Julie's hand fell neatly into a narrow crack between the bed and the wall.
              
The gun was found on the floor beneath her left hand, but Julie was right-handed. There was no gunshot residue found on her hands.
              
Statistically, women almost never shoot themselves in the face.
              
Mosley said the reason Julie wanted a divorce was that Jim was trying to convince her to abort their baby. She was adamant she would not do that. 
              
"The number one person that should have been suspected in this was the husband," said Stone.
              
In 2011, Jim Lynn did become a suspect, but not in Julie's death. 
              
Tonya Lynn was Jim's third wife. He eventually led Barrow County investigators to her body in a well near their Winder home.
              
But before Tonya died, she documented years of abuse and wrote in a court document, “He also told me if I wanted to kill myself, he would show me how to use the gun.”
              
It was a chilling threat since an old police report confirms Tonya knew Jim was questioned in Julie's death decades earlier.
              
"They made determinations solely on what they saw at that time. I'm looking at it from a different perspective altogether," says Candler County District Attorney Hayward Altman.
              
Fleischer showed him her review of Julie's case.
              
"We are going to do a further investigation. No question about that," said Altman.
              
He sent the coroner a letter declaring Julie's death suspicious, and asked that the death certificate be changed accordingly, but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be charges. 
              
"I'll make that decision solely on whether or not I can actually prove the case," said Altman. 
                 
He knows the case would be a tough one to prosecute.
              
In 1990, Jim Lynn passed a polygraph. 
              
Since Julie's death was initially ruled a suicide, the evidence was destroyed years ago. The crime scene photos show little detail and the old case file has no measurements to use to reenact the scene.
              
The GBI briefly reopened the case last year and re-interviewed some of the witnesses.
              
Agents even tried to interview Jim Lynn in prison in what they called a homicide investigation, but they refused to reclassify it officially, and closed Julie's case a second time. 
              
Lynn initially said he'd grant Fleischer an interview, but he wanted to have an attorney present. Since the cases are in different counties, his lawyer from Tonya's case can't represent him in an interview about Julie. Without charges, a public defender in Candler County can't be assigned in Julie's case.
              
Jim Lynn is already serving life in prison without parole for Tonya's murder.
              
When his last appeal is done, Julie's mother hopes he'll finally talk to her about Julie's death.
              
"I would just beg him, ‘This is done. You are where you are,’" said Mosley, "’If you ever cared anything about Julie, please tell the truth... for Julie's sake, for the baby's sake, for my sake.’"