A 34-year-old cold case involving the racially motivated murder of a 23-year-old black man has been solved with the arrest of five white people – including two police officers who allegedly tried to cover up the homicide.

Timothy Coggins was found dead on a power line on Oct. 9, 1983 in a small Georgia town of Sunny Side in Spalding County, the west-central part of Georgia.

Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said Coggins had been “murdered brutally” because he was Black.

“There is no doubt in the minds of all investigators involved that the crime was racially motivated, and if the crime happened today it would be prosecuted as a hate crime,” Dix told WSB-TV in Atlanta.

“It has been an emotional roller coaster for everybody that was involved,” Dix said.

Cold cases involving Black victims are rarely solved after three decades but in July, investigators met with Coggins’ family and decided to reopen the case. Give credit to the investigators, many of them new to the case, for being diligent in their pursuit of justice.

Consider this: Original witnesses who were re-interviewed said they knew who murdered Coggins but were afraid to share their knowledge of the crime because they had been intimidated by the alleged murderers. Officials said the investigation is not over, and more people could be arrested and charged.

Police arrested and charged Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr., 58, with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another.

Sandra Bunn, 58, Lamar Bunn, 32, and Gregory Huffman, 47 were charged with obstruction. Huffman, a detention officer with the sheriff’s office, has also been charged with violation of oath of office, according to authorities. Sandra Bunn and Lamar Bunn, who works for the Milner Police Department, are mother and son, officials said.

Gebhardt and Moore were denied bond by a judge Saturday morning. A $25,000 cash bond on the violation of oath of office charge was set for Huffman, with another $10,000 cash bond set for the obstruction charge. The Bunns were released Friday after posting bonds of $706.75, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“We know that there’s been tireless nights and we know that you guys have put in so many hours making sure that these people were brought to justice…’” said Coggins’ niece, Heather Coggins, according WSB-TV. “The only unfortunate part in this is that our grandparents, Timothy Coggins’ parents, are not able to see this today.”

The Coggins family never gave up hope and stayed on top of investigators. They deserve to be praised for their tenacity while grieving for three decades and demanding answers.

“We have always wanted justice, held out for justice, and knew that we would have justice,” Coggins said. “We have endured grief for the past 34 years.

“Our journey is coming to an end,” she added, “their journey is just beginning.”

For the Coggins family, the system finally worked.

 

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16 thoughts on “Justice Delayed: Timothy Coggins’ Murder Finally May Be Solved

  1. WANDA GAYLORD on said:

    Sometimes unhappy people troll websites to start controversy. Its not about participating in the discussion, its about dividing people. Maybe the comments made by “boarderdrama” fall under this category. I dont think he deserves the energy or time it takes to respond to his comments

    • You’re right. They all may be inflicted with what their racist mentor in chief has…a need to cause chaos and turmoil. In their demented mind, all is not right unless the country is on fire. I pity these fools. So unhappy in their lives. Of course, they’ll say, they sleep fine at night, but we’re all old enough to know a miserable mofo when we read their racist comments to know they’re not sleeping at all. That’s what’s wrong with that resident in the wh, and we know he doesn’t sleep.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    These dirty no good mofos lived scot free for 34 years. I hope they don’t another moment of peace for the rest of their miserable lives.

  3. Unfortunately, we still have people who are ignorant to the fact that many, many blacks were murdered not because they committed a crime,but because it was a crime to be black in the eyes of others. Denzel Washington’s movie “The Great Debate” sheds light on that fact. Some folks might want to take a look at it.

    • specialt757 on said:

      borderdrama wrote “When someone is hated so bad that he is brutally murdered, under lynch law, there is a motive”
      Is he kidding? Maybe he isn’t aware of the past 500 plus years of Amerikkka’s history. His crime was being born black, no other reason. What ever his crime, this self-imposed death sentence by these murderers was not warranted. Miss me wit’ it!

  4. Christianforreal on said:

    Borderdrama, Looking at the picture that shows with your post, you are certainly old enough to understand that in the past 500 or so years there was no logical explanation for why your race of people have hated my race, period, let alone enough to kill and maim!!! Don’t hold your breath while they try to figure it out. Because there is none. These men killed this Black man for sport. In this day and age, police officers say they shoot because they feel their lives are in danger by the Black Man that they have confronted. However, most were killed for sport and you can best believe, that’s why THIS man was killed by the white counterparts. They were bored and had nothing better to do!!!!

  5. When someone is hated so bad that he is brutally murdered, under lynch law, there is a motive. What was Timothy Coggin’s dastardly deed that brought about such hate. It was probably something stupid, but something that generated a lot of hatred among his “executioners.” It seems that the media is now in the stage of carefully creating an angelic image of the victim, and it will be a long time before we know the motive, if we ever do. Lynch law is wrong, but we deserved to know all the facts.

    • specialt757 on said:

      Well why don’t you do the research and enlighten us on his infraction that caused this hate. While you’re at it, enlighten us on why those white devils murdered Emmitt Till, the rage and hate held by his murderers is unfathomable.

    • I guess cover by the police means absolutely nothing to you. They need to open up all of the unsolved murders involving Black folks, especially, the lynchings. Ever if they are 100, throw their old asses in prison!

    • Yup, stupid alright, like the color of his skin. These pasty face people kill me, now they just can’t understand the hate that they invented.

    • Let me get this straight: someone is saying here that there are times when lynching is justifiable….in 2017? You’ve got hatred man, go look for help,

  6. specialt757 on said:

    Another case of white devils being white devils. long sigh…
    You’re never convince me that more crimes are committed against whites by blacks, there is way too much history to prove otherwise.

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