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Death Penalty Trial Underway for Tiffany Moss in 2013 GA Murder of 10-year-old Emani Moss - Page 2
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Thread: Death Penalty Trial Underway for Tiffany Moss in 2013 GA Murder of 10-year-old Emani Moss

  1. #11
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Georgia welfare officials sued over 10-year-old starved and left in trash

    By Bill Rankin and Tyler Estep
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    A 10-year-old Gwinnett County girl’s death of apparent starvation could have been prevented had Georgia’s child protection agency thoroughly investigated repeated complaints about the girl’s abuse and neglect, a lawsuit contends.

    The suit was recently filed by the grandmother of Emani Moss, whose emaciated, burned body was found in a trash bin outside her Lawrenceville home in November 2013.

    Emani suffered “constant abuse and deprivation from 2008 until her untimely death,” the suit said. A proper Division of Family and Children Services investigation “more likely than not would have prevented Emani’s deprivation and murder.”

    Emani’s father, Eman Moss, pleaded guilty in 2015 to his role in his daughter’s death
    and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In a plea deal, he agreed to testify against Emani’s stepmother Tiffany Moss, who is facing the death penalty.

    Saying it’s God’s will, Tiffany Moss is acting as her own lawyer.
    Her case was scheduled to go to trial this month, but it has been delayed while the state Supreme Court reviews a Gwinnett County judge’s decision to allow Moss to represent herself.

    Emani weighed just 32 pounds when she died, authorities said. Her grandmother, Robin Moss, acting as the administrator of Emani’s estate, filed the suit against DFCS in Gwinnett County State Court. DFCS has no comment on the litigation, spokesman Walter Jones said.

    The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the pain and suffering endured by Emani during her life and the “full value of the economic and non-economic value of her life had she lived.”

    According to the suit, if child protection workers had acted on any number of red flags they could have made sure Emani was in a safe environment at her home or placed in foster care.

    The 10-year-old excelled in her academics, the suit said. Emani enjoyed reading and cooking and studied ballet.

    But in 2010, Cooper Elementary School staff contacted the police after Emani, then 6 years old, said she was afraid to go home with a bad report card, the suit said. Police later found welts, scrapes and bruises on Emani’s arms, chest, back and leg from being beaten with a broken belt.

    Emani was temporarily removed from the home and Tiffany Moss eventually pleaded guilty to child cruelty. She was sentenced to five years on probation, and she and Eman Moss took parenting classes, the suit said.

    But more problems arose in May 2012 when school employees reported to DFCS that Emani was suffering from emotional and psychological neglect. They also said Tiffany Moss had allegedly hit her stepdaughter on her back and her head with a belt because she was eating breakfast so slowly she was going to miss the bus. Emani saw the school nurse and was given an ice pack to put on her back, the suit said.

    In response, DFCS opened an investigation, and a case worker spoke to Emani, Tiffany Moss and Emani’s teacher, the suit said. But DFCS found “no maltreatment alleged” and attributed Emani’s injuries to corporal punishment, the suit said.

    On Aug. 6, 2013, just months before Emani’s death, DFCS received an anonymous call from a person who said Emani was being neglected and appeared to be thin, the suit said. But the child welfare agency conducted no follow-up and made no visit to
    Emani’s home after getting the tip, the suit said. Among the reasons listed for dismissing the complaint: DFCS didn’t know where the Mosses were living.

    In 2016, after looking into what happened in Emani’s case, DFCS announced it was changing the way it assesses maltreatment reports.

    Agency workers are to no longer decide whether reports like the one involving Emani in 2012 warrant investigations based solely on information gathered over the telephone. And no case is to be assigned a less-serious, lower-priority status until a caseworker meets a child who allegedly has been victimized, then-DFCS Director Bobby Cagle said.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/local/dfcs-...BlUuzvENyJWgJ/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #12
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Woman accused of starving stepdaughter to represent herself in death-penalty trial

    By Bill Rankin
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    A Gwinnett County woman accused of starving her stepdaughter to death said she would rather rely upon divine guidance than the guiding hand of legal counsel. Tiffany Moss is now on track to represent herself at her upcoming death-penalty trial.

    On Thursday, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear a pretrial appeal that sought to overturn a judge’s decision to allow her to serve as her own lawyer. She was accused of starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter Emani Moss to death in 2013. The girl weighed only 32 pounds when her body was found, authorities said.

    Moss’s trial, which had been scheduled for this past July, was postponed when Superior Court Judge George Hutchinson allowed two lawyers from the state’s public defender system to appeal his decision allowing Moss to represent herself. The judge will now have to reset her trial date.

    Criminal defendants have a right to counsel if they cannot afford to pay for legal representation. They also have the right to represent themselves, although it’s extremely rare for this to happen in a death-penalty case.

    During a pretrial hearing, Hutchinson found Moss competent to stand trial. But before granting her request to be her own lawyer, Hutchinson implored her to accept legal representation. At one point, Hutchinson told Moss he had retained a lawyer to represent his daughter when she got a traffic ticket a few years ago.

    That was a trivial matter compared to what Moss faces now, he said.

    “They are seeking to have you executed, and I can’t be more blunt than to say they are trying to have you killed,” the judge said. “That’s just as serious as it can possibly get and I think it’s best that you have an attorney.”

    As a precaution, Hutchinson appointed capital defenders Brad Gardner and Emily Gilbert to serve as standby counsel and represent Moss if she changes her mind. On Friday, Gardner and Gilbert, who had filed the pretrial appeal on Moss’s behalf, expressed disappointment the high court declined to hear the case.

    “We are extremely concerned about her ability to navigate through this death-penalty trial,” Gilbert said. “At this point, we’re still standby counsel but have gotten no word from her that she wants our assistance. It appears she is willing to rely on God to provide guidance to her. That’s it. And it appears she’s unable to conduct any preparation for trial.”

    District Attorney Danny Porter had agreed the state Supreme Court should at least consider the pretrial appeal. Hutchinson, he added, has done as much as he can to warn Moss about the perils of self-representation in a case where the stakes are so high.

    “I’m much more comfortable now with the idea we’ve gone out of our way to make sure she understands what she’s doing and the risks that come with it,” he said. “We’ll now go forward with her representing herself.”

    At a previous court hearing, Moss acknowledged she had not been reviewing the evidence against her or putting together a list of witnesses who would testify on her behalf. Instead, she said, she was getting ready “in a more spiritual way than, you know, a physical way.”

    Despite Hutchinson’s attempts to persuade her to get a lawyer, Moss has held firm.

    “I’m confident in my decision and I’m standing by it,” she told the judge.

    Reluctantly, Hutchinson acceded to her wishes. But he also allowed the state Supreme Court to scrutinize his decision before the trial.

    The state Supreme Court was unanimous in deciding not to hear the appeal and the justices said they had thoroughly reviewed the case record.

    Prosecutors are expected to tell jurors that after Emani Moss starved to death, Tiffany Moss, her stepmother, burned the body and put it in a dumpster outside the apartment where they lived.

    Prosecutors had also sought the death penalty against Emani’s father, Eman Moss. But he pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Tiffany Moss in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/...GucoQkbJWgr7K/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #13
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    TRIAL DATE SET FOR WOMAN ACCUSED OF STARVING STEP-DAUGHTER TO DEATH

    By Veronica Waters
    WSB Radio

    Gwinnett County, Ga. - The Gwinnett County woman accused of starving her stepdaughter to death and burning the 10-year-old’s body in 2013 has learned the date of her death penalty trial.

    Superior Court Judge George Hutchinson set the first phase of Tiffany Moss's jury selection and orientation for April 8, 2019. That's when the people who received jury summonses will be in hearings as they seek to be excused from the jury pool. The heart of jury selection begins the following week, April 15.

    In court Thursday afternoon, Tiffany Moss had little to say in a status conference that lasted barely five minutes. Shackled and wearing a green jumpsuit, she responded politely, with a "No, sir," when the judge asked her if she needed anything as she prepares to represent herself in her death penalty case. She told him she had no questions.

    Emani Moss, her stepdaughter, weighed only 32 pounds when her burned body was found in a trash bin outside her family's Lawrenceville apartment. The girl's father, Eman Moss, has already pleaded guilty and agreed to testify for the state. He is serving life without the possibility of parole.

    While Moss says she has received divine guidance to act as her own attorney, lawyers Brad Gardner and Emily Gilbert from the state Office of the Capital Defender remain her legal advisors on standby in the case. The state Supreme Court has essentially said that Moss has made no mistakes representing herself and can continue to act as her own attorney.

    Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter says he has never tried a death penalty case in which the defendant does not have legal representation.

    He's aware of another case--though not in his jurisdiction--in which a death penalty defendant represented himself at trial. Jamie Hood, accused of killing an Athens-Clarke County police officer, did not get himself acquitted but he did get a sentence of life without the possibility of parole instead of being sent to death row. He says Hood did not need help in the case because he seemed to know what he was doing.

    But Moss, he notes, is not preparing for her death penalty trial in any traditional way.

    "There are boxes of discovery out at the jail. She has not requested access to that, and she has not requested access to the law library," says Porter.

    Is it a fair fight?

    "I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it's as fair as it can be under the circumstances," says Porter, “and that’s going to be part of the challenge of the case.” He says it remains to be seen just how much help Moss will need at trial. He already knows that he will have to do certain things and ask certain questions to protect the record, because there’s no defense attorney making tactical decisions. But maybe she’s preparing in another way, he says.

    "She's confident. In hearings, she's very confident. She's completely ready to go, is what she says."

    https://www.wsbradio.com/news/crime-...B4dpsCfUwZehP/
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  4. #14
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    Georgia: Stepmom accused of starving daughter will represent herself in death-penalty case

    She’s produced no list of witnesses she plans to call at trial. She has yet to look over the boxes of discovery turned over to her by the state.

    She brings no documents, not even a legal pad, with her into the courtroom.

    Yet on Monday, Tiffany Moss will represent herself as Gwinnett County prosecutors seek the death penalty against her.

    Moss faces murder and child cruelty charges for allegedly starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death and then burning her body in 2013.

    As described by law enforcement, the brutal death of 10-year-old Emani Moss is one of the most notorious cases of child abuse in Georgia history.

    The young girl weighed only 32 pounds when her charred body was found in a dumpster outside the apartment where she lived.

    Moss has said she is leaving her fate in God’s hands, rather than the two experienced public defenders who were initially assigned to represent her.

    They work for the state’s capital defender office, which is credited as a primary reason no one has received a death sentence in Georgia in more than five years.

    Death Penalty Sought

    The last time a death sentence was handed down by a Georgia jury was March 2014 in Augusta against Adrian Hargrove, who committed a triple murder.

    When asked why death sentences have become so rare, prosecutors and defense attorneys agree with Mauldin’s assessment: the availability of a life-without-parole sentence is seen by many as more acceptable.

    Without a skillful and cohesive defense, Moss could break the drought and receive Georgia’s first death sentence in years.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/local/stepm...695R143APPK7H/
    "How do you get drunk on death row?" - Werner Herzog

    "When we get fruit, we get the juice and water. I ferment for a week! It tastes like chalk, it's nasty" - Blaine Keith Milam #999558 Texas Death Row

    -----------------

    "I just felt like it. I didn't have to have a reason. I don't believe I've got any humanity. I could kill a person and then just go out for dinner. I don't care." - William Gibson

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  5. #15
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    Woman representing self in death penalty case barely speaks during trial

    Tiffany Moss is accused of starving her stepdaughter and burning her body

    "No questions, your honor."

    Tiffany Moss uttered that phrase twelve times today as she represented herself in a death penalty case. She’s the Gwinnett woman accused of starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Emani Moss, and burning her body and throwing it in a dumpster in 2013.

    For a woman acting as her own lawyer, Moss has had remarkably little to say during the first 3 days of her trial.

    Moss, wearing dark slacks and a navy shirt with a yellow pattern, barely spoke during the morning proceedings. When the judge read the list of charges she's facing to prospective jurors, Moss occasionally looked at jurors but showed no emotion. She declined to question any jurors but she did, for the first time since this trial began, confer with her standby attorneys.

    24 jurors have been qualified and moved on to the final jury selection phase in the Tiffany Moss murder trial.

    Though Moss is representing herself, she has two court-appointed attorneys who are sitting behind her and available at any time to answer legal questions. They are, however, not acting as her attorneys at her wish.

    She spoke with the attorneys during the portion of the jury selection in which either side can ask for a dismissal of a juror. The District Attorney had requested to excuse a juror because he said he could not impose the death penalty. She conferred privately with the standby attorneys for a few minutes then told the judge she would not disagree with the DA’s request to excuse that juror.

    He was 1 of 2 jurors excused. The other was excused because of a language barrier. English is not her first language and it was evidence she would not be able to follow court proceedings.

    In total, 5 more jurors were questioned during the morning session at Gwinnett County Superior Court in Lawrenceville. Of those, three jurors were held over for service.

    Gwinnett County Police arrested and charged Emani's father and stepmother with murder. Police said they set her on fire, hoping to make evidence of their abuse of her disappear. Before her body was burned, the girl was literally starved to death.

    Eman Moss, her dad, signed a plea deal in 2015. He is serving a life sentence without parole but does not face the death penalty. Tiffany Moss, her stepmother, has been awaiting trial for more than 5 years.

    Tiffany Moss faces 6 counts of murder and concealing a death, plus 2 counts of felony murder and 1st-degree cruelty to children. She also faces the death penalty.

    (source: 11alive.com)
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #16
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    Going it alone, death-penalty defendant confronts would-be jurors

    It was the kind of question no one could imagine.

    “So if in this case, and this is an if, you were picked for the jury and you did find the defendant — me — guilty of … starving a child, my own child, and burning her body, would you be able to consider life with parole as an option or would death be the necessary action taken? ” Tiffany Moss asked.

    The 35-year-old Gwinnett County woman posed it last week to a Transportation Security Administration officer who’s a potential juror for her death-penalty trial. Because Moss is acting as her own attorney, she found herself asking the unthinkable.

    Taken aback, and clearly uncomfortable, the TSA officer — Juror No. 52 — said death would be his “first priority.

    ”Jury selection, which consumed all of last week, will wrap up soon in this extremely rare instance in which a capital defendant is going it alone. Despite the recommendations of almost everyone, Moss has refused to be represented by two experienced state capital defenders who were assigned her case. (Instead, they have been appointed “standby counsel” and sit behind Moss in the courtroom gallery ready to help if she asks for it.)

    Atlanta attorney Ken Driggs, who has represented capital defendants at trial and on appeal, spent time in court last week to see how Moss was doing. He left unimpressed.

    Because Moss is not raising any objections, he said, she cannot appeal possible errors during her trial if she’s convicted and sentenced to death.

    “When you represent yourself you can’t complain about your mistakes,” Driggs said. “You are stuck with the consequences of your mistakes or lack of knowledge.

    ”So far, more than 70 prospective jurors have been questioned about their thoughts on capital punishment and the criminal justice system to see whether they can be qualified as fair and impartial.

    The jurors are also asked what they think about Moss’s decision to exercise her constitutional right to represent herself.

    “I guess I feel that it’s kind of shocking,” Juror No. 56 said, looking over to Moss sitting alone by herself at the defense table.“It might not be the most logical decision,” said Juror No. 17, a Gwinnett librarian.

    “I would just say I hope she’s been given some guidance,” said Juror No. 41, a retired elementary school teacher. “That does bother me a little (but) you said it was her choice. You have to respect that.

    ”Others said they just wanted to know why Moss had made such a decision. (They were never told why, although Moss has said she’s putting her faith in God’s hands.)

    Most jurors said they would not hold Moss’s self-representation against her or the state.

    Juror No. 63, a school support technician, was an exception. “I think I would have a little bias,” she said, referring to Moss.

    During jury selection, Superior Court Judge George Hutchinson has read the sobering indictment to panels of prospective jurors. This includes the murder-by-starvation allegation, various child cruelty charges and her alleged attempt to conceal the crime.

    Then, one juror at a time sits alone in the jury box, first to answer questions posed by the judge. District Attorney Danny Porter or assistant DA Lisa Jones are next.

    When it’s Moss’s turn, she most often smiles and tells Hutchinson, “No questions, your honor.” On very few occasions, however, she poses the question about the starvation and burning of her stepchild.

    When she does speak, Moss is polite and pleasant, sometimes bubbling up with nervous laughter. Some jurors return her smile, while others cast a curious glace at the woman they’d just been told is accused of starving and burning her stepchild.

    According to law enforcement, 10-year-old Emani Moss weighed just 32 pounds when her charred body was found in the fall of 2013.

    On two occasions, Moss won challenges to keep potential jurors in the final selection pool. This occurred after prosecutors sought to disqualify them because they said they would be reluctant to vote for a death sentence.

    One of them, Juror No. 30, a veterinary nurse, told Porter she had signed petitions opposing capital punishment. “I’m personally not a fan of it,” she said.

    But when Porter asked her if she could consider all three sentencing options — life in prison with the possibility of parole, life without parole or the death penalty — the juror said, “I would like to think I could.”

    As Porter continued to question her, the woman admitted to having bad experiences with law enforcement. One was being handcuffed by police as a teenager after squirting water from a car into the face of a taxi driver. Another included a friend she believed was wrongly convicted of a sexual assault.

    After probing that, Porter finally asked Juror No. 30 if, given her views and life experiences, she could truly vote for the death penalty.

    “I’ve been against it for so long,” the woman said, equivocating.

    Porter later moved to have Juror No. 30 disqualified.

    But Moss reminded Hutchinson the woman had said she could consider all three sentencing options, including death. Hutchinson granted Moss a small victory and kept the woman in the jury pool.

    At the same time, Moss has stumbled a number of times. On one occasion, she failed to try and disqualify a juror who’d said she could not vote to sentence a person convicted of killing a child to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

    Anther occasion involved Juror No. 138, who said she’d once supported capital punishment but now opposed it.

    Experienced defense lawyers would have questioned such a juror to try and get her to admit that, in especially egregious cases, she could still vote for death. Such a concession could make her a qualified juror and one favored by the defense.

    When Hutchinson asked Moss if she had any questions for this juror, Moss appeared to sense this possibility. She called for her standby lawyers, Brad Gardner and Emily Gilbert, and they spoke to her at length at the defense table. As they gave instructions, Moss repeatedly nodded her head in agreement.

    After Gardner and Gilbert returned to their seats, Hutchinson asked Moss if she had anything to say. “No questions, your honor,” Moss said with a smile.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/local/going...RMEVrir6DAHzM/
    "How do you get drunk on death row?" - Werner Herzog

    "When we get fruit, we get the juice and water. I ferment for a week! It tastes like chalk, it's nasty" - Blaine Keith Milam #999558 Texas Death Row

    -----------------

    "I just felt like it. I didn't have to have a reason. I don't believe I've got any humanity. I could kill a person and then just go out for dinner. I don't care." - William Gibson

    "What, around 29 or 30?" - Trevor McDonald

    "Yep." - William Gibson

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