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