Griffin reacts to guilty verdict in 1983 murder - CBS46 News

Griffin reacts to guilty verdict in 1983 murder

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Source: Spalding County Sheriff's Office Source: Spalding County Sheriff's Office
SPARTA, GA (CBS46) -

It was a verdict that so many people in Griffin had waited so long to hear, on Tuesday Frank Gebhardt was found guilty of murdering Timothy Coggin back in 1983.

"Justice was served but I don't think the punishment was harsh enough," said Frederick Hamm.

Reporter Ashley Thompson found several people in Griffin who thought Gebhardt should have been put to death.

"I think he should have been put on death row and don't hesitate with it because look how many years he done escaped," said Willie Elliot.

Some people CBS46 spoke with were old enough to remember the heinous murder back when it happened.

"I thought that was the most awful thing I ever heard in my life," said Sandra Hall.

Hall and her daughter Shawn Reid believe life in prison will force Gebhardt to think about the brutal murder he committed.

"They just should, just let him live and suffer," Hall said.

"Nobody deserved to die because they are dating outside their race," Reid said.

Prosecutors said 23-year-old Timothy Coggins was killed for socializing with a white woman.

"Look how many years it's been," Elliot said. "That young man's mother and father passed and gone but still the truth came on out."

Bill Moore, Gebhardt's brother-in-law, is also accused of murdering Coggins.

His trial is scheduled for a later date, though some now believe with Gebhardt's conviction, that he'll try to take a plea.

"They're going to offer him one," said Elliot. "Just watch what happens."

According to the Spalding County District Attorney's Office, Moore's attorney has not yet tried to cut a deal.

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