Father of Emani Moss, who was starved to death by her stepmother Tiffany Moss, has plead guilty and will be receiving a life sentence. Moss is representing herself in the trial that could very well lead to the death penalty. We discuss on Law and Crime.
#mosstrial #tiffanymoss #emanimoss #murder #lawandcrime
Bob Bianchi, Vincent Hill, and Gene Rossi Report on Jury Selection in the Tiffany Moss Trial
April 29th, 2019
Robert Bianchi: Welcome back to the Law and Crime Network. My name is Bob Bianchi, I’ll be with you till three o’clock. We’ve been moving to a lot of different cases, a lot of hot topics, but we have one of our very own Vincent Hill, a host here at the Law and Crime Network that is on location in the Georgia versus Tiffany Moss case out there in Georgia. You may recall, we talked about this earlier where Emani Moss 10 years old, starved to death. The prosecutor says, lit on fire and put in a garbage can by the woman you see on the screen right there. The father of the child was also in charge. He’s pled guilty. He’s getting a life sentence. You see a picture of him up there on the screen and he’s cooperating with the prosecution in the prosecution of Ms. Tiffany Moss. Who, may I add, is representing herself in this potential death penalty action? So, Vincent, give us the lay of the land brother. What’s happening down there?
Vincent Hill: Yeah, Bob. So, I was in the courthouse most of the morning. And what’s very interesting is they’re bringing each potential juror in one by one and then asking those questions, typically we see, at least the entire seat of 12 people seated and then they are asked those questions. But the judge in this case is bringing them in one by one. And most of the people here, Bob, surprisingly say they are not in support of the death penalty. And that’s one reason this jury selection has been going on for as long as it has. One Lady, earlier today I believe, juror number 92 stated, hey, I’m an ordained minister. I believe in redemption, not death penalty. Who are we to say someone needs to be put the death? But this is a very interesting case as well because a lot of the people, at least this morning when I was inside the courtroom Bob, were saying, hey, I can’t understand why she’s representing herself. They understand that’s her right. But they said if it was them facing a murder charge in a death penalty case, there’s no way they would be representing themselves. So, juror selection is a very slow process because of those two issues Bob.
Robert Bianchi: Yeah Vincent, just to let our audience know, in a death penalty case, and it may sound a little counterintuitive, but to be qualified as a juror, you have to actually tell the judge that if the state proves it’s aggravating factors beyond a reasonable doubt that outweigh the mitigating factors that you would follow the law and impose the death penalty that you were capable of doing that. So, I’ve had that penalty case Vincent, myself that have gone on six, eight months trying to find jurors that would actually impose the law there. And as you’ve indicated, she’s representing herself, that’s a little quirky. But you know, Vincent, I’m also told that there was a civil suit that’s been filed here against the child protective agency down there in Georgia because there were apparently, or it’s alleged numerous contacts that they should have known or should have known, seen that this child was being abused and they did nothing about it. Could that be a potential defense for her in an odd sort of way that she just wasn’t capable as a parent? She didn’t really intend to do anything wrong and somebody should have interceded on her behalf, isn’t it?
Vincent Hill: You know what, Bob, that could be a very liable defense here. You know, one thing that’s interesting about Tiffany Moss, I sit behind her. This past Friday when I was in the courtroom, of course, I sit within feet of her this morning, she’s walking in the courtroom very confident and, you know, and she’s telling the judge no questions for this juror, no question for that juror. So, she seems like she understands. But at the same time, Bob it could be a trick to later come back and say, well, I had no idea what I, what I was doing because the talk here in Atlanta is, there has to be something wrong with you mentally. Not only to burn your child, starve your child, your stepchild, but then to say, oh, I want to represent myself. So, she may come back later and say, well, there were signs I was reported. Nobody did anything about it. So how are you going to hold me liable? So, to your point, Bob, that could be a very liable defense.
Robert Bianchi: Interesting Gene, I’m curious before we get to Gene, Gene, I want you to ask Vince a question next, but tell me about, Vincent, the prosecutors statement that they’re working with the father because they don’t believe he was directly involved in the starving of the child and the mechanism of death, but yet he pled to a life without parole sentence. To me it just seems a little that they had a tough case against him. Why? Maybe I’m like getting it. Why did he plead out to such a draconian sentence?
Vincent Hill: He had the responsibility to make sure that the child is cared for, fed and things of that nature. So why the father pled out to this case and why he’s a witness in this case is, is quite troubling. It’s quite strange. But again, this whole case is strange Bob. I mean who starves their 10-year-old child and then sets her on fire in a dumpster behind the apartment building. When this case hit in Atlanta, I mean it shook everybody, anybody that was a parent here, that is a parent here, they were all devastated for little Emani.
Robert Bianchi: Yeah. What do you think Gene?
Gene Rossi: Well I’d like to have a question, at the guilty plea hearing for the father, first off, I’d like to know the exact charge and was there any, expressions by the prosecutor as to why they’re sort of giving him a pass on a death penalty?
Vincent Hill: Well Gene, I don’t want to give any false information. I really, didn’t follow the father’s case as much as I’m following, of course Tiffany Moss. So, I’m not sure there. But again, to your point, he should have received the exact same sentence as, or at least a potential sentence as Tiffany Moss here, the death penalty. Of course, the jurors were read each potential sentence life with parole, life without parole, and of course death penalty by lethal injection. Again, there were a few jurors this morning that just said, hey, I’m totally opposed to it. Even if someone commits a crime, who am I to say they should be put to death? So, when I spoke to a bailiff earlier, the deputy inside the courtroom, he said they expect to get up to the 54 required jurors, but the judge wants 58. They expect to happen today, but it’s no guarantee. So hopefully we can see opening statements sometime tomorrow morning.
Robert Bianchi: All right, Vincent Hill, a host of the Law and Crime Network, a reporter at the Law and Crime Network. He’s doing it all. I appreciate it Vince. Stay safe and keep coming back.
Vincent Hill: Absolutely, Bob, thanks so much.
Robert Bianchi: You got it, my friend.