Timothy Coggins

Suspects stabbed, dragged black man behind truck 34 years ago for ‘socializing with a white female’: DA

New details have emerged in the case of Timothy Coggins, a black man murdered over 34 years ago in Spalding County, Georgia.

Prosecutors said during a court hearing on Wednesday that Franklin Gebhardt, 59, and William Moore Sr., 58, brutally murdered Timothy Coggins, 23, in 1983 after he was spotted “socializing with a white female.”

Franklin Gebhardt, 59, and William Moore Sr., 58

Coggins was found dead in a grassy area on the side of a road on October 9, 1983. Spalding County Sheriff, Darrel Dix, said the case went cold after investigators talked to a few people, but didn’t find much information. Dix reopened the case in March of this year and arrested five people in connection with Coggins’ death just weeks ago.

ORIGINAL Story: Over 30 years later, five people arrested in 1983 ‘racially motivated’ murder

At the time of the arrests, Dix didn’t release a cause of death, but called the murder “heinous,” and said there was “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.”

On Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that Gebhardt and Moore brutally murdered Coggins by stabbing him and dragging him behind a truck through the woods.

Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ben Coker said Coggins was murdered because he was seen with a white woman.

“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.”

A judge denied bond for both men, whose lawyers claimed the two were too old and weak to pose any danger. They will remain behind bars until their next court appearance.

Three other people – Lamar Bunn, Sandra Bunn, and Gregory Huffman – were arrested last month in connection with Coggins’ death. All three were charged with obstruction of justice. Lamar Bunn is a police officer in Milner, Georgia. He was suspended pending the outcome of the case. Huffman, who worked as a detention officer with the sheriff’s office, was immediately fired.

Gregory Huffman, Sandra Bunn, and Lamar Bunn

[Feature Photo: Spalding County Sheriff’s Office]