Over 30 years later, five people arrested in 1983 'racially motivated' murder

Over 30 years later, five people arrested in 1983 'racially motivated' murder”

Five men and women, including a law enforcement agent, were arrested as a result of the investigation.

According to a release on the Spalding County Sheriff's Facebook page, Timothy Coggins, a 23-year-old black man, was found brutally murdered on October 9, 1983, in a grassy area in the Sunnyside area of northern Spalding County. His cause of death hasn't been released, but sheriff Darrell Dix said at a news conference on Friday that the body showed signs of trauma.

Immediately, leads started coming in from people who were afraid to speak to police at the time of the murder. It wouldn't be reopened again for three decades.

After 34 years, a family is finally getting justice and a sheriff's investigation is just beginning into the murder of a man in Spalding County.

But after new evidence and new interviews surfaced, deputies and the GBI announced Friday they arrested 5 people in Coggins' murder.

Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore, Sr., 58, each were charged with a slew of crimes, including aggravated assault and murder. He was sacked after being arrested.

Lamar Bunn, Sandra Bunn and Gregory Huffman face obstruction charges in connection with a 1983 slaying.

Dix didn't release many details on the murder, but he did call it a "heinous" crime. Huffman was terminated from his job after his arrest and was being held on $35,000 for both charges.

Heather Coggins, the victim's niece, said that she was relieved that her family was going to see justice served, even if her grandparents were no longer around to see their son's death avenged. "So no, we didn't think that this day would ever come but we're grateful that it did".

Gebhardt and Moore were both denied bond and remain in jail.

The sheriff says the motive of the crime is still under investigation, but it appears to be racially-motivated. Huffman was being held on a $25,000 bond for the violation of oath of office and $10,000 for obstruction. Sandra and Lamar Bunn were released Friday night after posting bond, according to the release.

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