• Judge denies bond in 'racially motivated' murder case

    By: Sophia Choi

    Updated:

    SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. - Two men accused of a racially motivated murder that happened 34 years ago will remain in jail without bond. 

    Channel 2’s Sophia Choi was in the courtroom Wednesday as the victim’s family cried in court as the prosecutor described how their loved one died. 

    Prosecutors laid out a timeline from years ago, saying Timothy Coggins was dragged behind a truck and stabbed numerous times.

    Frank Gebhardt, 54, and William Moore Sr., 58, remained silent during the bond hearing as the Coggin’s family listened to the horrific details of the case.


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    “It was very difficult hearing some of the things today, and seeing the defendant was very difficult as well. It’s the first time we’ve had a chance to see them up close and personal,” niece Heather Coggins said. 

    [PHOTOS: 5 suspects arrested in connection with 34-year-old cold case]

    Investigators found Coggins’ body on Oct. 9, 1983 in a grassy area near some power lines, on Minter Road in Spalding County.  

    “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.,” prosecutor Ben Coker told the court.

    The cold case caught fire after new leads from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation led authorities to reopen the case in March.

    New witness testimony led them to five arrests, including two law enforcement officers, Gregory Huffman and Lamar Bunn, who are facing obstruction charges. 

    Sandra Bunn, the only woman charged with obstruction, was in court Wednesday watching as the two men faced more serious charges of malice and felony murder, aggravated assault and battery, and concealing the death of another person.

    “When are we going to wake up? This feels like a movie as if we’re watching it on Lifetime... but it is real,” Coggins told Choi. 

    The defense argued that Gebhardt and Moore are so old and feeble, they would be no danger to the community and should get bond, but the judge disagreed.

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