4 men, 1 woman ‘including 2 police officers’ arrested for 1983 murder of young black man tortured, hanged from power line


Authorities in Georgia arrested five people on Friday in connection with what they say was a racially motivated murder of a young black man in 1983.

Those arrested include at least two members of law enforcement, according to WSB-TV.

Two people were charged with murder, two people were charged with obstruction and a fifth person was charged with violation of oath of office.

The arrests were made after new evidence surfaced in recent months and more interviews were conducted.

The identities of the suspects have yet to be released.

Timothy Coggins, 23, was found dead on a power line in Spalding County, Georgia, back in 1983. Detectives reopened his case in June after receiving new evidence

Timothy Coggins, 23, was found dead on a power line in rural Spalding County, Georgia, in October of 1983.

‘It was a horrible death,’ Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said.

‘It was a torturous death.’

Investigators at the time gathered evidence and interviewed potential witnesses, but were unable to make any arrests over the killing.

But after a decades-long campaign of witness intimidation, officers from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation say they are close to arresting those responsible.

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation was reopened in June thanks to information forwarded on to the investigative bureau through ‘various sources’.

As well as pouring over old evidence and re-interviewing those who spoke to cops at the time, detectives discovered new witnesses and were able to gather further clues.

Officers have ‘literally being going door-to-door to solve this crime’.

This past summer, they said ‘they are close to making arrests for Coggins’ murder.’

Sheriff Darrell Dix said: ‘We have been in contact with a representative from Coggins’ family and they have been briefed on where we are at in the investigation.

‘Unfortunately, both of his parents are deceased, and we wish we would have been able to give them closure before they passed away.

‘The GBI, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, and District Attorney Ben Coker’s Office will do all we can to ensure that Timothy Coggins and the remainder of the Coggins family receive justice.

Coggins' body was found somewhere along this road. Investigators say there has been a campaign of intimidation against witnesses in the past, and are encouraging anyone who may have information to come forward

‘It does not matter who he was, or where he was from, this man died a horrible death and those responsible for his murder need to be held accountable.

‘I can say without a doubt that if Mr. Coggins was murdered today, in 2017, it would absolutely be classified as a hate crime.

‘Thirty four years have passed since this horrible crime was committed and those who killed him have believed that they would remain untouched until literally just a few days ago.

‘We understand that over the years those suspected of being involved in the murder of Timothy Coggins have threatened and intimidated potential witnesses.

‘We believe that there are people with pertinent information regarding this case that are still out there and we are asking them to come forward.

‘Any detail, no matter how small you may think it is, could be valuable in bringing Coggins’ killers to justice.’

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