The Georgia Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Lenny Ozzlee Moss in connection with the December 2016 death of his wife, Tyisha Davis.
Moss appealed, arguing that his trial counsel had a conflict of interest which “prevented her from vigorously cross-examining a State witness she had previously represented in an unrelated criminal matter.”
The high court, Aug. 10, upheld the McDuffie County convictions. Davis, 23, was shot inside her Spruce Street home just days before Christmas. Others heard gunfire and called 911. Officers arrived and found four children in the living room sitting on the sofa. According to court documents, one told the officer “He shot my mama, he shot my mama.”
Police found Davis in the kitchen and with no pulse. Efforts to save her were unsuccessful. According to testimony provided in court by the medical examiner, she had been shot in the chest from less than a foot away. That was the fatal shot. The medical examiner also testified that she was shot in the right groin sometime after she had collapsed onto the kitchen floor.
In 2018, Moss waived his right to a jury trial and the case was heard by Superior Court Judge Thomas B. Hammond. In May 2018 the trial court found Moss guilty on all counts. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parol on the count of malice murder and terms of 20 years each, to be served consecutively to the malice murder sentence but concurrently to each other, on four counts of cruelty to children and one count of aggravated assault. He was also sentenced to five years each on two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Evidence presented at the trial showed that Moss entered Davis’ home and fatally shot her in the chest while her children were also home. But, the court also learned there had been a history of domestic violence where Davis was the victim leading up the her death.
“Tyisha was strangled by Lenny Moss about five weeks before this incident. He was on the run evading arrest for an arrest warrant for the strangulation and dodging getting served on a TPO when he committed this crime,” said Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bill Doupé.
He said prosecutors and law enforcement officers have been trained to be on the lookout for strangulations in domestic violence cases. Strangulation, Doupé said, is defined as anything that cuts off or restricts the flow of blood or oxygen to the brain by compressing around the neck area or the face area.
“We are trained and unfortunately this case has shown true that when there are signs of strangulation in a domestic relation is eight times as likely to be killed in a subsequent domestic violence incident,” he added.
After the shooting, Moss fled and was sought as a suspect but has known to be armed and dangerous. He was located with the assistance of the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team arrested him inside a McDuffie County home.
“GBI was working this case in conjunction with the Thomson Police Department investigators but it was Logan Marshall and his men who helped provide the information as to where Lenny Moss was holed up and hiding after the murder,” added Doupé.
One memory of this case that will always linger with Doupé involves a piece of evidence. When Davis was murdered her four children were in the home.
“Then after the murder happened the children went across the street and were with a relative or a friend of the family. One child was sitting on a woman’s lap and appeared to be chewing on something. It was a cartridge casing that he had picked up from the murder scene, found to have been fired by the murder weapon,” said Doupé. “That will always stick with me.”