Investigators Describe Finding Body, Crime Scene in Day Two of Pamela Moss Murder Trial
GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Investigators described the bloody crime scene and how they found the body of a missing Henry County businessman during the second day of the Pamela Moss murder trial in Jones County.
Before the lunch break, Bibb County investigator Jamey Jones told the jury he went to Moss’ home off Old Ridge Road in the River North community on Sunday March 18, 2012–that’s five days after the victim, Douglas Coker’s, family reported him missing to authorities on Tuesday. Jones testified he smelled natural gas coming from the home. When he walked around to the back of the house he says he smelled the odor of a decomposing body and it was “obviously coming from under the porch.”
When he looked under the porch, Jones testified he saw a black tarp with roofing shingles and lime spread on top of what looked like the “shape” of a body. When he lifted the tarp back, Jones says he found a white male body matching the description and clothing of Coker.
Jones County investigator Kenneth Gleaton wrote an 11 page report documenting the evidence and photos taken from the crime scene. He says the body was found in an advanced state of decomposition and the head was more decomposed, meaning there was a wound there. The state claims Moss hit Coker in the head with a hammer multiple times.
Gleaton testified investigators found 228 blood stains in Moss’ living room, saying it was a “very bloody crime scene.” A large central stain was found with white paint poured on top of it as “an attempt to cover it up.” A tarp was also stretched over the stain, Gleaton testified.
Investigators found Coker’s car in a hospital parking lot in Spalding County. The state claims Moss drove his car there and dumped it after killing him. Inside, they found three checks written from Moss to Coker.
District Attorney Fred Bright showed the jury pictures from the crime scene while Gleaton described them. Coker’s family and friends sitting inside the courtroom kept their backs to the photos and cried while they were being discussed.
Gleaton testified investigators found a bloody plastic tub next to Coker’s body under Moss’ porch. He said it was filled with bloody tarps, gloves, plastic trash bags, and a bone fragment. He also told the jury investigators found blood evidence that showed someone dragged Coker’s body from the living room, through the screened porch, down the porch stairs, around the back of the house, and left him under the porch where they eventually found him.
Bright and Gleaton brought some of that evidence into the courtroom to show the jury, including the hammer he says Moss used to kill Coker, blood swabs taken from the scene, and the bloody tub found next to the body.
The jury started off the day by listening to a recorded interview between Moss and Henry County police officer Dean Watson. During the recording, Watson said Moss told him three different versions of what happened the day Henry County businessman Douglas Coker went missing. Moss was the last person to see him.
Moss was supposed to meet Coker at the McDonald’s on Bass Road in Bibb County at 11 a.m. on Tuesday March 13, 2012. Moss told Watson during the recording she met with him for about five minutes and then they parted ways. She then changed her story to say they met at the McDonald’s and talked for 10 minutes. Watson says she changed her story for a third time, saying she pulled up to the McDonald’s and waived Coker to follow her.
Moss told Watson during the interview she took him to two different places to show him property and they parted ways.
Watson says in the recording they have phone records showing Moss is in the same location on Sheraton Road from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on that day. Investigators say there is a cell tower there which is where her phone pings off when she is at her home in the North River community.
“Where is Mr. Coker?” Watson asked during the interview, saying she was the last person to see him.
“I have no idea where Mr. Coker is,” Moss answered.
Watson says Coker and Moss were meeting to discuss his nonprofit and the $85,000 she owed him. Watson says she only gave him back $5,000.
The third witness called to the stand was Henry County police detective Antonio Mellon. He testified he pulled Coker’s voice messages left on his phone. One was from Moss around 4:30 p.m. on the day he went missing asking where he was and when did they want to meet.
The state said during opening statements Coker went to Moss’ home to collect the money she owed him and instead she hit him in the head with a hammer multiple times.
Moss’ defense says she has dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder, and claims an alter ego committed the crime. Moss’ attorney Frank Hogue says they do not deny what happened, but says during the course of the trial he will explain why. He is hoping the jury will come back with a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict, meaning she committed the crime but is not legally responsible for it.
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