Five arrested in connection with brutal 1983 murder of Timothy Coggins

STAFF REPORT :::

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office announce that arrests have been made in the 1983 murder of Timothy Coggins.

Coggins was murdered in October 1983 on Manley Road. He suffered multiple forms of trauma that resulted in his death.

Brutally murdered, his body was abandoned in a grassy area adjacent to a high-tension powerline on Manley Road in the Sunnyside area of northern Spalding County.

Soon after his body was discovered, investigators of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office began interviewing acquaintances, developing suspects and gathering evidence in their search for Coggins’ killer.

After an exhaustive investigation the case went cold and until now, had remained unsolved.

In March 2017, new evidence came to light that led investigators with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office to re-examine the case.

Spalding County investigators and GBI agents met with the Coggins family on July 26, and briefed them on the new leads. They have stayed in contact with family representatives since that time.

Shortly after meeting with the Coggins family, the decision was made to release to the media information on the re-opened case to generate new conversations, witnesses and leads.

Original witnesses were contacted and re-interviewed, and new information was received. Thanks to the assistance of both local and statewide news media coverage, previously unknown witnesses stepped forward.

When interviewed, many of the witnesses stated they had been living with this information since Coggins’ death, but had been afraid to come forward or had not spoken of it until now.

Each new lead was checked out and followed up. This attention to detail slowed the pace of the investigation, but was necessary to ensure that no stone was left unturned, and that the investigation was successful.

The ultimate goal was to get the justice Timothy Coggins and his family have waited for since 1983, authorities said.

Based on the original evidence recovered in 1983 and new evidence and interviews there is no doubt in the minds of all investigators involved that the crime was racially motivated and that if the crime happened today it would be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Today, Oct. 13, 2017, 34 years and four days after Timothy Coggins’ body was discovered abandoned off Manley Road, a joint effort between the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office has resulted in arrests for the murder of Timothy Coggins and additional arrests for other criminal acts discovered during the renewed investigation.

Friday morning, investigators, agents, and deputies made those arrests and executed search warrants seizing evidence and documents related to these crimes.

Officials stress that this investigation is not over. It has entered a new phase leading up to the prosecution of those people responsible for this heinous crime, and those that obstructed or hindered this investigation, authorities said.

Standing together Friday were members of the Coggins family, agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, District Attorney Ben Coker, Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder, Spalding County Sheriff’s investigators and Spalding County government officials.

“We are sending a message that we want to make crystal clear. If you are a criminal, murderer, drug dealer or gang member you are no longer welcome or tolerated in Spalding County. We will do everything we can to stop you regardless of who you are, where you come from, and as demonstrated today, regardless of time or distance,” read a press release issued by Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Timothy Coggins family and we will support them and stand with them as the prosecution of his murderers’ moves forward.”

Arrested in connection with Coggins’ murder were:

Frankie Gebhardt, a white male, age 59, who is charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another.

Bill Moore Sr., a white male, age 58, who is charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another.

Charged with obstruction are Sandra Bunn, a white female, age 58 and Lamar Bunn, a white male, age unknown.

Gregory Huffman, a white male, age 47, is charged with violating his oath of office and obstruction.

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Comments

  1. Damn Buzzsaw your a real dumbass.

  2. Thank you Spalding County Sheriff’s Office for being relentless in your pursuit of justice. Those animals that killed Coggins shall pay for their crime.

  3. So thankful that Timothy Coggins murderers are no longer free & being brought to justice…FINALLY. I hate that the Coggins family since 1983 has had to live with this hurt, pain & unanswered questions this long. And it will always be there. Just think this poor family could have been walking side by side with Mr.Coggins killers for 34years. Just imagine for 34years these racists killers were walking beside all of us with their hate. For anyone who has never or never will suffer from racism, here’s your proof that racism is not dead, it’s alive & well.

    Just looking at those five racist killers pictures, on the street they could easily be mistaken as sweet & innocent grandparents to some. But just imagine all your black friends/potential victims are actually walking around Spalding County & everywhere else right next to people who hate them. One of those killers was a police officer…and he was racist. What kind of hell did he & those other racists put your black friends through. Your black friends have to deal with that danger all the time, alone. Just because you don’t witness racism happening doesn’t mean that your black friends don’t. Racists don’t just dress up in white sheets, their our teachers, pastors, police officers, politicians etc. And racism isn’t just using the n-word. Racism or ignorance is the cashier who doesn’t want to touch your black friends hand so they drop the money on the counter instead. Racism is the clerk who follows only your black friends around because they assume they’ll steal. Racism comes in many forms for your black friends to suffer. Any racists who seeks a position of power can place your black friends in Hell on Earth. Racism ain’t dead to your black friends.

    Just so thankful for the good ones who will fight racism and take a stand to condemn it like the ones who reopened & investigated this case.

    • Racism is also accusing someone of being Racist just because they are all white. I doubt Tanya S. knew any of these people so she is being Racist by accusing them.

      • Mr. Bob, 5 people were arrested for the horrific murder of Timothy Coggins which was considered a hate crime. If committing a hate crime doesn’t make you racist I don’t what does. And not condemning a racist or racist acts doesn’t make you any better. And no calling out someones racism is not racist, it’s called being a REAL PATRIOT. You should have been upset at those who killed Timothy Coggins 34 years ago because of hate. Bob I don’t know them, maybe you do but I’m thankful that I don’t. I wouldn’t want friends who lived like they have.

      • And Bob obviously Tanya S. doesn’t consider ALL white people racist because at the end she praised the members of the Spalding County Police Department for bravely reopening & reinvestigating this case. See “Just so thankful for the good ones who will fight racism and take a stand to condemn it like the ones who reopened & investigated this case.” Notice she even knows what a REAL PATRIOT stands for.

      • Myleka Tucker says:

        That article clearly states it was racially motivated…. Sorry she didn’t just make it up… But stand up for the killers 😒😒😒

    • I couldn’t believe something like this could happen in my hometown. I’ve always thought we had a pretty peaceful existence within our community…but I guess I was wrong. I have to admit now that I grew up pretty naive because I didn’t think we had racists living here in my Griffin. I always thought my friends were either making up or making the situations they were in worse when they said they were being discriminated against because they were black. I never witnessed it so I never believed them. I saw a lot of what you said was the same as my friends. Now I can’t stop worrying about who else is out there filled with so much hate that they could kill because of color. My goodness one of my friends could have been Timothy and I would have denied it because I didn’t believe we had people like them here. Even worse how many other Timothy Coggins stories are out there waiting for justice or haven’t been found yet?

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