Georgia Man Sentenced to Life in Prison 35 Years After Racially Motivated Murder of Black Man

Frank Gebhardt
Frank Gebhardt
Photo: Alyssa Pointer ( Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)

After 35 years of evading justice, a white Georgia man will spend life in prison for the murder of a black man.


On Tuesday, Frank Gebhardt, now 60, was convicted of murder in the 1983 death of Timothy Coggins. Witnesses say Coggins was stabbed 30 times and dragged behind a pickup truck for dating a white woman, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The case remained unsolved for years, but last year, there was a break in the case after a new witness came forward. Five people, including Gebhardt, were subsequently arrested. And on Tuesday, after six hours of deliberation, the jury returned the verdict. A judge immediately sentenced Gebhardt to life in prison (plus 20 years), according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


“Hopefully, sir, you have stabbed your last victim,” Judge Fletcher Sams said as he sentenced Gebhardt.

According to prosecutors, Gebhardt and his brother-in-law, Bill Moore Sr., stabbed Coggins and dragged him to a rural road in Spalding County on Oct. 5, 1983. Moore is still awaiting trial in the case.

But, finally, justice was served for a black man, at least in Gebhardt’s case, despite taking 35 years.

Montana Couser is a recent Howard University grad and Philly native.

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Nunna Yorz - You're NOT my ally just because you hate Trump

GA is one of the states that has the death penalty, right? Don’t house and feed this fucker until he dies. Just kill him. It’s not like he’s going to suffer in jail. The racists will treat him like a hero. At least get creative with his punishment if you’re going to let him live. Instead of just sitting in jail, make him do work that benefits black communities or something.