Last night, I was honored to be a part of a candlelight vigil for the victims of domestic violence hosted by the Griffin Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Task Force. Thank you to the Task Force, law enforcement, Promise Place, the GHS Chorus, and everyone else who participated tonight. Being a part of this task force is so important. We fight to break the cycle of domestic violence, and it meant a great deal to me to come together as a community to celebrate survivors of domestic violence, and to remember those that lost their lives to domestic violence this year.
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. This number can no longer be ignored. Let us stand together behind victims. Please break the silence. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, in any of its forms, contact law enforcement, Promise Place, or any of my offices. Together, we can break the cycle. We stand with you, and we support you. You are not alone.
Ben Coker - District Attorney
Assistant District Attorney Christy Jindra, in the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office, donated a Digital Baby Grand Piano to the Whitewater High School Chorus Department today. Chorus Director, Richard Prouty, and the Whitewater Choral Board and Booster, helped deliver the piano safely to its new home with the Chorus Department. The Chorus Department at Whitewater entertains audiences at Talent Shows, numerous concerts, Miss Whitewater, and The Whitewater Spectacular, as well as a spring variety show showcasing the choirs and soloists.
Jindra said the following of the generous contribution: “Having been a resident of Fayette County since 1993, a prosecutor in this community, a local musician, and a parent of two graduates of the Fayette County School System, I have seen first-hand the academic and social benefit of extra-curricular activities, particularly music. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to my community in this way.”
District Attorney Benjamin Coker said of Jindra’s donation, “my employees spend countless hours preparing cases and ensuring that Fayette County is safe from criminals. It makes me proud to know they also are dedicated to being a part of the communities in which they live. Thank you to Christy for this donation.”
On October 3, 2017, the State began trying a murder case against two defendants, William Moore and Todd Jones, in front of the Honorable W. Fletcher Sams. Both defendants were charged with Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Battery, two counts of Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Knife During the Commission of a Crime. On October 10, 2017, a Spalding County jury returned a verdict of guilty on all 7 counts against both defendants. Judge Sams sentenced the defendants to two sentences of life without the possibility of parole plus 25 years in prison. Moore and Jones will serve the rest of their lives in prison under this sentence.
The State in the case was represented by District Attorney Benjamin D. Coker and Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder. The State tendered 296 exhibits over the 6 day trial. The jury deliberated for over two hours before reaching the guilty verdict, today.
The jury convicted Moore and Jones for brutally murdering Kevin Harmon in a vacant lot of Runaway Lakes subdivision back on February 14, 2011. According to testimony during trial, the victim sustained 58 injuries, 40 to his head and face. Moore and Jones used a knife and baseball bat to kill Harmon. Both defendants were convicted at a previous trial in front of a different judge. A new trial was ordered on July 13, 2017 after legal issues with the first trial became obvious. Moore and Jones were retried over the past several days. Cody Tuggle, another defendant was also convicted at a prior trial. His motion for new trial is pending in front of Judge Sams.
District Attorney Coker said of the verdict, “the retrial of Moore and Jones was a difficult task for my office, and I am proud of the way that they handled it. The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office proved to its community that despite adversity, it would stand strong, press on, and continue to fight against those that insist upon doing evil. We would like to thank law enforcement for their hard work, the citizens that testified, and the jury for what was a difficult trial and verdict. Together, we ensured that justice and good prevailed today. We will continue to fight for justice, every day, in Spalding County and throughout the circuit. Our hearts are with the Harmon family.”