LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. (WHNT) – A Lincoln County judge sentenced Zakkawanda Moss to six consecutive life terms on Tuesday. Moss was convicted of killing six people in 2012.
“Words cannot describe some of the things I’ve seen in this trial,” said Judge Forest Durard. “These killings were senseless and barbaric as I’ve ever seen.”
Judge Durard listened to testimony from several people, including family members of the victims.
A jury convicted Moss in the deaths of Amber McCaulley, Chabreya Campbell and her unborn child, Rashad Rico Ragland, as well as Warren Crutcher and Jessica Brown. The murders happened in October of 2012.
Immediately after Judge Durard issued the sentence, Moss’ attorney, Hershel Koger, asked for a new trial for his client. The judge set a hearing for March 4 to review the matter.
Another man, Henry Burrell, is scheduled to stand trial in February for the six murders.
Follow our blog below of Tuesday’s events in the courtroom.
Moss’ defense attorney Koger asked for new trial March 4.
DA Robert Carter just asked entire gallery to follow him out of courtroom.
Zakkawanda Moss sentenced to 6 consecutive life sentences for 2012 TN, AL killings.
Moss leaves courtroom silently.
Durard recommends 6 *CONSECUTIVE life sentences.
Judge Durard recommends Moss never be free again, ‘never to have the most remote chance.’
‘These killings were senseless and barbaric as I’ve ever seen.’ – Durard
‘Words cannot describe some of the things I’ve seen in this trial.’ – Durard
The women were “strangled in a mafia or gang-like manner”, “the pictures are horrendous,” Judge Durard says.
‘Miss McCaulley was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ – Durard
TN law describes mass murder as killing 3 or more people in one criminal episode. ‘We’ve got double that here.’ Durard said.
Judge Durard says aggravating circumstances, severity of the crimes and need to protect public from further harm are all factors he used to consider consecutive sentences.
Judge says he’s thought a lot about what to do in this ‘horrific’ case. ‘My heart pours out to the families.’
Defense requests single, concurrent sentence of life.
‘A sentence should be sufficient but not greater than necessary.’ – Koger
“I understand this is a bad situation. There are people involved in this that shouldn’t be involved in this. I understand that” – Koger
‘A single life sentence is going to keep Mr. Moss in jail the rest of his life.’ – Koger
Moss is 36 years old, would 87 years old when TN sentence ends.
‘One life sentence would be about 51 years.’ – Koger
‘We don’t have proof…’
Says autopsies don’t support the ‘torture’ inference.
Defense attorney Koger takes issue with use of words like ‘torture, terror.’
‘6 consecutive sentences are morally mandated in this case.’ – State
“This was w/ ligatures on their hands and around their throats, making them completely helpless.” – prosecutor talks about torture aspect.
“There was no reason to kill him (Rico), either to get info or to get pleasure out of it.” Says fact done w/ children in home adds to terror.
State: ‘These were all just beautiful young people with long lives ahead of them.’ Photos used to juxtapose what Burrell and Moss made of them after ‘brutal acts.’
State Prosecutor: ‘These crimes far exceed any civil violence.’
Judge asks for 10 minute recess to ‘collect my thought — and myself.’
State rests on their ‘proof’ portion.
Blackwelder: ‘What was done to these people was extremely brutal and extremely senseless.’
Blackwelder examines photograph of Warren Crutcher’s partially covered body. He had been shot 3 times in back of head and was ‘left in the bushes’.
Lincoln CO. Sheriff Murray Blackwelder now on stand.
Wesson IDs photo of the “pregnant body of Chabreya Campbell face down in bathtub with hands tied behind her back” Says she was visibly pregnant.
Photo of Amber McCaulley’s slain body admitted as exhibit.
Wayne Wesson, TBI investigator now on stand.
Each family member has asked judge to give separate & distinct sentence.
Fountain of Moss: ‘I think that he should never se the light of day outside prison walls.’
Fountain: ‘My God allowed me to pray for these men and to forgive them’.
Next on stand Denise Fountain, Warren ‘Vincent’ Crutcher’s Aunt.
Today’s sentence term of life is pre-determined by law, but judge will decide whether sentences run concurrently or consecutively.
Vickey Afisov, mother of Jessica Brown now on stand.
Sales now raising Campbell’s son Vincent or ‘little Vinny’, who was left alive at Huntsville Highway crime scene.
Campbell was in nursing school as well at Virginia College. Only lacked clinicals.
Baby girl was to be named ‘Nevaeh’, heaven spelled backwards.
Sales: lost daughter Campbell, grandson son Rico Ragland, and Chabreya’s unborn baby girl who medical examiners determined was healthy.
Chanae Sales, Chabreya Campbell’s mother now on stand.
Strickland asks judge to consider keeping Moss form ever getting back in society again.
Strickland is now raising her daughter’s child, Kynslee.
Strickland has experienced ‘sleepless nights, learning how to live without Amber.’
Mother goes on to describe Amber’s career aspirations. The 21 year old was ‘studying to be a nurse at Virginia College.’
Strickland: Amber ‘loved to praise dance at church’.
Next on the stand: Patricia Strickland, Amber McCaulley’s mother.
Defense Attorney Koger chooses not to cross examine Holdren.
Probabtion violation warrant and ensuing drug test positive for THC (marijuana) and opiates.
October 2012, Moss ‘left state of Alabama without permission’.
Holdren a parole supervisor for Madison County.
State’s first witness, Bridget Holdren.
Judge will hear impact statements from victims’ family members.
State introduces certified copies of 3 prior Moss felonies: Pike Co., robbery 1st. Crenshaw Co.,robbery. Madison Co., cocaine possession.
State asks judge considers ALL evidence submitted during trial when sentencing Moss for 6 counts of murder.
Moss’ attorney Hershel Koger said he objects to any facts not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Moss Defense Attny Koger: ‘Today is a matter of consecutive or concurrent sentences.’
Moss a ‘professional criminal’.
Moss has 3 prior felony convictions.
Characterized Moss as ‘dangerous offender’ with no regard for human life.
State seeking consecutive sentencing for ‘each life taken’.
Moss sentencing hearing begins now.
Moss hearing should begin shortly with sentence expected today.
No sign of Moss yet. Judge Durard hearing guilty pleas from other matters.
Moss could face up to 6 life sentences for the 2012 killings of 1 unborn child, 3 women and a man.
Court is in session. Waiting on Judge Forest Durard to call Moss.