Testimony starts in cold-case slaying blamed on racism

June 20, 2018 - 10:25 am

GRIFFIN, Ga. (AP) — Testimony is under way in Georgia in the cold-case slaying of a black man whom authorities have said was killed because of racism.

Frank Gebhardt is charged with malice murder in the killing of Timothy Coggins near Griffin, Georgia, in 1983.

The killing remained unsolved until last fall, when authorities announced the arrests of the 60-year-old Gebhardt and another white man.

A prosecutor has said the 23-year-old Coggins was killed because he had been "socializing" with a white woman.

Court documents accuse the men of stabbing and cutting Coggins to death. A prosecutor has said Coggins also was dragged through the woods behind a pickup truck.

Gebhardt is fighting the charges.

A jury of 10 whites and two blacks is hearing the case. Gebhardt's brother-in-law Bill Moore awaits trial.

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