Timothy Coggins murder case: Second killer pleads guilty for the racially motivated crime
Moore pleaded guilty in Spalding County Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter and concealing the death of another.
For nearly 35 years, the family of Timothy Coggins had been awaiting justice, and with his second killer now pleading guilty, the case is finally getting a closure.
All these years of getting away with murder, Bill Moore, who was the second man involved in the racially motivated 1983 slaying of Timothy, reportedly entered a plea Thursday and pleaded guilty. He will receive a 20-year sentence, plus 10 years of probation, reports CNN. If not the rest of their lives, Timothy Coggins' killers will spend many years in Georgia prison.
According to reports by the publication, Moore pleaded guilty in Spalding County Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter and concealing the death of another. He will, however, duly be given credit for time served, especially since he claims to be in poor health and appeared before the judge in a wheelchair.
As per reports, Judge Fletcher Sams has also banned Moore, and if he ever gets released, he is not to step foot in Spalding County or the surrounding counties of Fayette, Pike, and Upson. It was Coggins' niece, Heather Coggins who told the publication in a phone interview from the courthouse that she was quite near Moore when she addressed him before the judge.
"I told him that what he did to our family 35 years ago tore our family apart. Our grandmother went to her grave not knowing what happened to her son. I said, 'We forgive you. I hope that whoever you pray to, you ask for forgiveness and are forgiven. I also hope that you spend the rest of your natural life behind bars,'" she said. "He just looked at me."
Peggy Richards, Coggins' oldest sister told the publication that after learning of the plea deal last week that she was sad that her parents weren't alive to see justice served. "We cried, we cried, we cried, we cried for (35) years, but now, we're here. We're here now," said Richards, outside the Spalding County Courthouse in Griffin, 40 miles south of Atlanta.
"Thirty years is not a weak plea," prosecutor Ben Coker said. "(Moore) wouldn't take this deal if he didn't have some involvement." Moore would be eligible for parole, according to state law, after serving 80 months of the 20-year sentence. However, the parole board guidelines recommend he serve at least 65%, or 13 years, according to Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles spokesman Steve Hayes.
Hayes also mentioned that the board would also consider his criminal history, which includes several felony convictions in the 1990s, but still, it does have absolute discretion to determine if and when Moore can be paroled from prison later in the future.