When Timothy Coggins made the decision to spend the evening at the People’s Choice pub in Griffin, Georgia, he had no idea that the tragic events that were about to unfold in front of him. Even though he was reported missing that evening, it took the authorities two days to determine that the mangled body that was found in Sunny Side, Spalding County, belonged to him. The documentary ‘Captured: Timothy Coggins Killer(s)’ by Crime Junkies recounts the terrible crime and demonstrates how the prosecution was able to bring the offenders to justice about 34 years after the event. If you are interested in this investigation and would like to know the current whereabouts of those responsible for the crime, we have you covered.

Timothy Coggins

Timothy Coggins

How Did Timothy Coggins Die?

At the time of his death, Timothy Coggins was 23 years old and lived in Griffin, Georgia with his family. When he was killed, he was found dead. He was very close to his mother and his seven other siblings, all of whom shared a great link with him. He had a strong bond with his loved ones. Timothy was described by those who knew him as a young man who had a big heart, was grounded in reality, enjoyed being of service to others, and had lofty goals and dreams for his future. On the other hand, he was completely unaware that a seemingly innocuous evening spent at a bar would result in him losing his life.

On October 8, 1983, Timothy made the decision to spend the evening at the People’s Choice pub in Griffin, Georgia, where he anticipated having a relaxed night and was looking forward to it. It’s interesting to note that his friend Jesse Gates, who used to work for the sheriff’s office in Spalding County, drove him to the pub. In addition to this, while Jesse was dropping Timothy off, he spotted a number of white males hanging around the pub, which seemed strange to Jesse. Jesse was unaware that this would be the last time he would ever see Timothy, who would vanish shortly after this encounter. Timothy was 23 years old at the time.

On October 9, 1983, officers from the Spalding County Police Department located the deceased corpse of Timothy in the Sunny Side section of the county. According to the podcast, Sunny Side was a predominantly white neighbourhood, so the discovery of a black victim there came as quite a shock to the authorities. In addition, based on the appearance of things, Timothy was subjected to severe physical abuse, including beatings, before being murdered by being stabbed numerous times. Even further, the assailants etched a symbol into his belly that resembled the Confederate battle flag. An autopsy was performed afterwards, and the results revealed that the stab wounds were the cause of Timothy’s death.

Who Killed Timothy Coggins?

Regrettably, the investigation into Timothy’s murder turned out to be incredibly difficult due to the fact that the police had no leads or witnesses to work with. The authorities conducted a thorough investigation of the crime scene and even canvassed the surrounding areas, but their efforts were fruitless. Even Timothy’s relatives and friends were perplexed by the situation because they had no understanding why somebody would want to cause harm to such a gentle spirit. In addition, despite the fact that the form of the murder gave the impression that it was motivated by bias, the authorities found no evidence that pointed them in the direction of a likely suspect.

During the initial phase of the inquiry, local law enforcement personnel were inundated with a significant number of tips; however, all of these reports turned out to be false leads, and investigators found themselves starting from scratch. The inquiry was put on hold for a number of years and soon became a “cold case” because no progress was made on the case during that time. In point of fact, it was noted in the podcast that even Timothy’s family had given up on their dreams for closure and had no idea if the person responsible for his death would ever be prosecuted. Nevertheless, in 2016, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation decided to reopen the investigation into the matter.

The mission to identify and apprehend the killer was given to Special Agent Jared Coleman. After being given the case, Jared searched over the evidence files and came to the conclusion that he needed to question everyone who had any connection to the murder. The confessions of Franklin Gebhardt and William “Bill” Moore Sr., Franklin Gebhardt’s brother-in-law, that they were responsible for the murder of a black man were his first major break in the case. The podcast claims that Franklin and William were both incarcerated at the time that they made their confession to another prisoner, who then reported their statements to the authorities.

The inquiry went quite smoothly from that point on, as additional witnesses came forward, and the authorities quickly amassed sufficient evidence to arrest Franklin and William. Additionally, Gregory Huffman, who worked as a detention officer, was detained for obstructing justice, while Franklin’s sister, Sandra Bunn, and nephew, Lamar Bunn, were arrested for aiding the accused in their flight from the law.

Timothy Coggins Murder

Timothy Coggins Murder

Where Are Franklin Gebhardt and William Moore Sr. Now?

After being brought before the judge, Franklin was found guilty of a number of offences, including concealing the death of another person, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and two counts of murder with malice. As a direct consequence of this, the judge imposed a life sentence on him in addition to an extra thirty years in 2018. On the other hand, William entered a guilty plea in the same year to both concealing the death of another person and to voluntary manslaughter. As a result, he was sentenced to twenty years in jail in addition to 10 more years of probation for his crimes.

As a result, Franklin continues to serve his sentence at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison, which is located in the unincorporated portion of Butts County in the state of Georgia. On the other side, William was incarcerated at the Augusta State Medical Prison in Augusta, Georgia, until he passed away in October of 2021.