Henry County

Man who killed 4 at bonfire sentenced to life in prison

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A man accused of killing four people during a bonfire party in 2016 was sentenced to life without parole Friday.

Jacob Kosky pleaded guilty to the murders at a home on Moccasin Gap Road in Henry County.

Police said Kosky went to the home near McDonough and began shooting. Matthew Hicks, 18; Keith Gibson, 29; Sophia Bullard, 20; and Destiny Olinger, 20; were killed.

Channel 2's Tom Jones was in the courtroom, where family members sobbed.

One victim's mother asked the judge to prevent Kosky from ever seeing his mother again. Lori Hicks said that if she can't ever see her son, Matthew Hicks again, then Kosky's mom should never be able to see him either.

"I ask that if at all possible he be allowed no visitations as I am unable to see my son, is it wrong to ask for the same for his mother?" Lori Hicks said.


Matthew's father, Mark Hicks, testified that his son almost didn't survive his birth.

"He was born still and all the nurses and doctors had to resucitate him," Mark Hicks said.

Mark Hicks also said he will never forgive Kosky.

"I will not today, next week. or till the day I leave this Earth, forgive or show any compassion for any of the parties involved in hurting me or my family," Mark Hicks said.

Sophia Bullard's father expressed his anger at his daughter's killer.

"If this would have been your daughter, how would you feel?" he asked.

Kosky faced the death penalty, but decided to plead guilty. The judge sentenced him to life in prison plus five years.

Prosecutors said he was at the bonfire with the victims when he stole guns from the home and murdered them.

District Attorney Darius Patillo said there was no motive for the crime.

"I can tell you, there was no prior altercation concerning these victims on that day."

Patillo said it would be up to the department of corrections as to determine whether Kosky will be able to see his mother again. The defense said Kosky has a history of mental illness and should have been in an institution at the time of the crime.

Kosky apologized to the victims' family members through his attorney.

His co-defendant, Matthew Baker, also faces the death penalty.