Zakkawanda Moss found guilty of six murders - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Zakkawanda Moss found guilty of six murders

Moss was found guilty by a jury Friday afternoon. Moss was found guilty by a jury Friday afternoon.
LINCOLN COUNTY, TN (WAFF) -

Zakkawanda Moss has been found guilty on six counts of murder by a Tennessee jury.

After eight days of testimony, the case was handed over to a jury, who reached the verdict after less than two hours.

Earlier Friday, both the defense and the prosecution took advantage of their final opportunity to make the jury see their side.

The prosecution began, when Assistant District Attorney Mike Randles went over the definition of first-degree murder: intentional and pre-meditated killing. He told the jury the evidence presented over the last two weeks clearly met that criteria, referencing deleted text messages and the graphic nature of the murders.

Randles said no one else will ever be able to understand how Moss and Henry Burrell, the other man accused of the murders, could possibly stomp a child to death. After an hour and a half, the assistant DA ended by saying this case is about each of the victims getting justice.

Defense attorney Hershel Koger was next. He pointed to the state's lack of conclusive physical evidence, saying "Nobody puts a gun in my client's hand."

Koger said the prosecution's theory was based on speculation and not facts, saying there were too many holes in their theory. More importantly, Koger said, is that it was not his job to prove that Moss was innocent, but the state's job to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Prior to the verdict being read, Judge Forrest Durard warned people in the audience not to have any outbursts of emotion. While no one disrupted the proceedings, tears, hugs and smiles were showing among family members of the victims.

"I am just relieved that it's all over and that justice was served," said Shanea Sales, the mother of Chabreya Campbell and grandmother of Rashad Ragland.

"It was hard to be there, but they needed us to be there. We wanted to be there for our families and show how much we love them," she said.

Many gave thanks to the DA and prosecutors who spent the last year putting the case together, saying they gave a strong closing argument and rebuttal.

Following the guilty verdict, District Attorney Robert Carter said that he was obviously pleased with the jury's decision, but not the events that led up to the case.

"The victims are lost, the defendant is in jail for the rest of his life. The families have had to go throughout the trial and live the rest of their lives knowing what took place," Carter said.

Koger declined to comment following the verdict.

Hon. Durard spoke exclusively with WAFF, saying that while there were 250 pieces of evidence to review, there is never any way to predict what a jury will decide. He said the trial was based on circumstantial evidence.

WAFF 48 Legal Analyst Mark McDaniel described circumstantial evidence as evidence you can infer from other facts. He said most convictions are based on this type of evidence.

"There are very few cases where you have direct evidence, eyewitness testimony, somebody seeing something or hearing something. Many more cases than not, you have to rely on circumstantial evidence you can infer from other facts. You do not have to see it, you can infer facts from other facts," McDaniel said.

The six victims - Chabreya Campbell, her unborn child, her 18-month old son Rashad (Rico) Ragland, Warren Crutcher, Jessica Brown, and Amber McCaulley were found dead during a span of several hours on Oct. 22, 2012. (Read more background of the crime and the trial: http://bit.ly/1h7T0v9)

Zakkawanda Moss' sentencing hearing will be held Jan. 21. 

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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