Courtroom Blog: Judge Sentences Zakkawanda Moss to 6 Life Terms

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.

David Wood January 21, 20143:35 pm

Moss’ defense attorney Koger asked for new trial March 4.

David Wood January 21, 20143:29 pm

DA Robert Carter just asked entire gallery to follow him out of courtroom.

David Wood January 21, 20143:27 pm

Zakkawanda Moss sentenced to 6 consecutive life sentences for 2012 TN, AL killings.

David Wood January 21, 20143:26 pm

Moss leaves courtroom silently.

David Wood January 21, 20143:25 pm

Durard recommends 6 *CONSECUTIVE life sentences. 

David Wood January 21, 20143:24 pm

Judge Durard recommends Moss never be free again, ‘never to have the most remote chance.’

David Wood January 21, 20143:21 pm

‘These killings were senseless and barbaric as I’ve ever seen.’ – Durard

David Wood January 21, 20143:19 pm

‘Words cannot describe some of the things I’ve seen in this trial.’ – Durard

David Wood January 21, 20143:19 pm

The women were “strangled in a mafia or gang-like manner”, “the pictures are horrendous,” Judge Durard says.

David Wood January 21, 20143:18 pm

‘Miss McCaulley was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ – Durard

David Wood January 21, 20143:17 pm

TN law describes mass murder as killing 3 or more people in one criminal episode. ‘We’ve got double that here.’ Durard said.

David Wood January 21, 20143:15 pm

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. 

David Wood January 21, 20143:10 pm

Judge says he’s thought a lot about what to do in this ‘horrific’ case. ‘My heart pours out to the families.’

David Wood January 21, 20143:09 pm

Defense requests single, concurrent sentence of life.

David Wood January 21, 20143:08 pm

‘A sentence should be sufficient but not greater than necessary.’ – Koger

David Wood January 21, 20143:08 pm

“I understand this is a bad situation. There are people involved in this that shouldn’t be involved in this. I understand that” – Koger

David Wood January 21, 20143:07 pm

‘A single life sentence is going to keep Mr. Moss in jail the rest of his life.’ – Koger

David Wood January 21, 20143:06 pm

Moss is 36 years old, would 87 years old when TN sentence ends.

David Wood January 21, 20143:05 pm

‘One life sentence would be about 51 years.’ – Koger

David Wood January 21, 20143:04 pm

‘We don’t have proof…’

David Wood January 21, 20143:04 pm

Says autopsies don’t support the ‘torture’ inference.

David Wood January 21, 20143:03 pm

Defense attorney Koger takes issue with use of words like ‘torture, terror.’

David Wood January 21, 20143:02 pm

‘6 consecutive sentences are morally mandated in this case.’ – State

David Wood January 21, 20143:02 pm

“This was w/ ligatures on their hands and around their throats, making them completely helpless.” – prosecutor talks about torture aspect.

David Wood January 21, 20143:02 pm

“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.

David Wood January 21, 20143:01 pm

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.’

David Wood January 21, 20142:59 pm

State Prosecutor: ‘These crimes far exceed any civil violence.’

David Wood January 21, 20142:57 pm

Court resumes.

David Wood January 21, 20142:44 pm

Judge asks for 10 minute recess to ‘collect my thought — and myself.’

David Wood January 21, 20142:44 pm

State rests on their ‘proof’ portion.

David Wood January 21, 20142:43 pm

Blackwelder: ‘What was done to these people was extremely brutal and extremely senseless.’

David Wood January 21, 20142:43 pm

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’.

David Wood January 21, 20142:40 pm

Lincoln CO. Sheriff Murray Blackwelder now on stand.

David Wood January 21, 20142:40 pm

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.

David Wood January 21, 20142:33 pm

Photo of Amber McCaulley’s slain body admitted as exhibit.

David Wood January 21, 20142:32 pm

Wayne Wesson, TBI investigator now on stand.

David Wood January 21, 20142:31 pm

Each family member has asked judge to give separate & distinct sentence.

David Wood January 21, 20142:31 pm

Fountain of Moss: ‘I think that he should never se the light of day outside prison walls.’

David Wood January 21, 20142:27 pm

Fountain: ‘My God allowed me to pray for these men and to forgive them’.

David Wood January 21, 20142:24 pm

Next on stand Denise Fountain, Warren ‘Vincent’ Crutcher’s Aunt.

David Wood January 21, 20142:22 pm

Today’s sentence term of life is pre-determined by law, but judge will decide whether sentences run concurrently or consecutively.

David Wood January 21, 20142:20 pm

Vickey Afisov, mother of Jessica Brown now on stand.

David Wood January 21, 20142:15 pm

Sales now raising Campbell’s son Vincent or ‘little Vinny’, who was left alive at Huntsville Highway crime scene.

David Wood January 21, 20142:13 pm

Campbell was in nursing school as well at Virginia College. Only lacked clinicals.

David Wood January 21, 20142:12 pm

Baby girl was to be named ‘Nevaeh’, heaven spelled backwards. 

David Wood January 21, 20142:11 pm

Sales: lost daughter Campbell, grandson son Rico Ragland, and Chabreya’s unborn baby girl who medical examiners determined was healthy.

David Wood January 21, 20142:09 pm

Chanae Sales, Chabreya Campbell’s mother now on stand.

David Wood January 21, 20142:08 pm

Strickland asks judge to consider keeping Moss form ever getting back in society again.

David Wood January 21, 20142:06 pm

Strickland is now raising her daughter’s child, Kynslee.

David Wood January 21, 20142:06 pm

Strickland has experienced ‘sleepless nights, learning how to live without Amber.’

David Wood January 21, 20142:04 pm

Mother goes on to describe Amber’s career aspirations. The 21 year old was ‘studying to be a nurse at Virginia College.’

David Wood January 21, 20142:02 pm

Strickland: Amber ‘loved to praise dance at church’.

David Wood January 21, 20142:01 pm

Next on the stand: Patricia Strickland, Amber McCaulley’s mother.

David Wood January 21, 20142:00 pm

Defense Attorney Koger chooses not to cross examine Holdren.

David Wood January 21, 20141:58 pm

Probabtion violation warrant and ensuing drug test positive for THC (marijuana) and opiates.

David Wood January 21, 20141:58 pm

October 2012, Moss ‘left state of Alabama without permission’. 

David Wood January 21, 20141:57 pm

Holdren a parole supervisor for Madison County.

David Wood January 21, 20141:55 pm

State’s first witness, Bridget Holdren.

David Wood January 21, 20141:51 pm

Judge will hear impact statements from victims’ family members.

David Wood January 21, 20141:50 pm

State introduces certified copies of 3 prior Moss felonies: Pike Co., robbery 1st. Crenshaw Co.,robbery. Madison Co., cocaine possession.

David Wood January 21, 20141:43 pm

State asks judge considers ALL evidence submitted during trial when sentencing Moss for 6 counts of murder.

David Wood January 21, 20141:42 pm

Moss’ attorney Hershel Koger said he objects to any facts not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

David Wood January 21, 20141:37 pm

Moss Defense Attny Koger: ‘Today is a matter of consecutive or concurrent sentences.’

David Wood January 21, 20141:36 pm

Moss a ‘professional criminal’.

David Wood January 21, 20141:35 pm

Moss has 3 prior felony convictions.

David Wood January 21, 20141:35 pm

Characterized Moss as ‘dangerous offender’ with no regard for human life.

David Wood January 21, 20141:34 pm

State seeking consecutive sentencing for ‘each life taken’.

David Wood January 21, 20141:32 pm

Moss sentencing hearing begins now.

David Wood January 21, 20141:32 pm

Moss hearing should begin shortly with sentence expected today.

David Wood January 21, 20141:31 pm

No sign of Moss yet. Judge Durard hearing guilty pleas from other matters.

David Wood January 21, 20141:29 pm

Moss could face up to 6 life sentences for the 2012 killings of 1 unborn child, 3 women and a man.

David Wood January 21, 20141:20 pm

Court is in session. Waiting on Judge Forest Durard to call Moss.

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