US

Georgia Woman Sentenced to Die for Murder of Stepdaughter

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA—A woman has been sentenced to die by lethal injection for starving her stepdaughter to death in an Atlanta suburb in 2013.

Tiffany Moss, 36, showed no emotion as the Gwinnett County jury delivered the death sentence Tuesday morning, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On Monday, Moss was found guilty of all counts, including murder, cruelty to children and trying to conceal the death of 10-year-old Emani Moss by burning her body in a trash can.

Moss represented herself at trial and mounted no defense. She made no opening statement or closing argument and called no witnesses.

Tiffany Moss enters courtroom
Tiffany Moss enters courtroom for her sentencing, in Lawrenceville, Ga. on April 30, 2019. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Her death sentence was the first handed down in Georgia in more than five years.

At trial, prosecutors painted a damning picture of Moss, who they said kept her young stepdaughter confined to a bedroom in their Lawrenceville-area apartment, slowly starving her to death.

Tiffany Moss stands as her execution date
Tiffany Moss stands as her execution date is set in Lawrenceville, on April 30, 2019. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

A medical examiner described how Emani wasted away without food or water and lived in waste in her own bed because she’d become too weak to move. Authorities say she weighed just 32 pounds (14 kilograms) when she died.

Prosecutors highlighted text messages sent by Tiffany Moss to her husband, Eman Moss, during the time when Emani was being starved. At least twice, Moss sent her husband pictures of meals she had prepared for him and her own two children the couple shared.

Prosecutors said it likely took weeks for Emani to die of starvation.

After the girl’s death, Tiffany and Eman Moss stuffed her emaciated body in a trash can and set it on fire.

Eman Moss is serving life in prison without parole for his role in the crime, after pleading guilty to felony murder in 2015 in exchange for testifying against his wife.

Robin Moss, front, Emani's grandmother, and others, including family members and Emani's fourth grade teacher, react as a jury sentences Tiffany Moss
Robin Moss, front, Emani’s grandmother, and others, including family members and Emani’s fourth grade teacher, react as a jury sentences Tiffany Moss, in Lawrenceville, Ga.on April 30, 2019. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Late Monday, jurors asked Gwinnett Superior Court Judge George Hutchinson if they could go home to “sleep on” the sentencing decision after reaching an impasse. The jury of six men and six women agreed to the death sentence after resuming deliberations 9 a.m. Tuesday.