Christian Boone

Reporter for Enterprise

Christian Boone joined the AJC as night cops reporter in 2008. He was assigned the public safety beat in 2013 and has covered some of the most notorious crime stories of the last 10 years, including the Dunwoody day care shooting, the Valdosta gym mat death and the Justin Ross Harris saga. An Atlanta native, Boone graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in political science and later attended the University of Southern California's Graduate Screenwriting Program.

Latest from Christian Boone

5 things to know about Spalding County cold case murder trial
 A trial nearly 35 years in the making is likely to end after just five days of testimony.  The Spalding County jury tasked to determine whether 60-year-old Franklin Gebhardt murdered a young black man is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday. Gebhardt and his brother-in-law, William Moore Sr. — who will be tried separately...

Posted: 16 hours ago

A trial nearly 35 years in the making is likely to end after just five days of testimony.  The Spalding County jury tasked to determine whether 60-year-old Franklin Gebhardt murdered a young black man is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday. Gebhardt and his brother-in-law, William Moore Sr. — who will be tried separately...
Alleged Spalding killer defiant, non-committal in jailhouse interview
 In a jailhouse interview last year with investigators, Franklin Gebhardt deferred repeatedly when asked if he had anything to do with the brutal slaying of Timothy Coggins some three decades earlier. “I ain’t going to tell you I did,” Gebhardt told investigators during the interview. “I’m not going to tell you...

Posted: a day ago

In a jailhouse interview last year with investigators, Franklin Gebhardt deferred repeatedly when asked if he had anything to do with the brutal slaying of Timothy Coggins some three decades earlier. “I ain’t going to tell you I did,” Gebhardt told investigators during the interview. “I’m not going to tell you...
Damaged evidence, shifty witnesses mark truck-dragging murder trial
 It was a confusing day of testimony as the state presented the meat of its case against Franklin Gebhardt. And that was before the 60-year-old defendant started talking. An interpreter was needed to understand Gebhardt’s garbled, clipped accent, surreptitiously recorded last year in an acoustically poor Spalding County holding cell...

Posted: 2 days ago

It was a confusing day of testimony as the state presented the meat of its case against Franklin Gebhardt. And that was before the 60-year-old defendant started talking. An interpreter was needed to understand Gebhardt’s garbled, clipped accent, surreptitiously recorded last year in an acoustically poor Spalding County holding cell...
WATCH LIVE: Jurors see truck-dragging victim’s blood-soaked clothes
 Jurors in the truck-dragging, cold case murder trial of Franklin Gebhardt have every reason to be confused. The testimony was straightforward in the beginning, as Larry Peterson, a former GBI crime scene analyst, told jurors there were three or four areas of struggle between the victim and his attackers, each marked by Timothy Coggins&rsquo...

Posted: 3 days ago

Jurors in the truck-dragging, cold case murder trial of Franklin Gebhardt have every reason to be confused. The testimony was straightforward in the beginning, as Larry Peterson, a former GBI crime scene analyst, told jurors there were three or four areas of struggle between the victim and his attackers, each marked by Timothy Coggins&rsquo...
Race takes center stage on Day One of Spalding cold case murder trial
 Racial animus led Franklin Gebhardt to murder Timothy Coggins in 1983, prosecutors said Wednesday. Indifference over a black man’s death left the Spalding County case unsolved for 34 years, Griffin Judicial Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder said in her opening statement. It was an admission seized upon by Gebhardt&rsquo...

Posted: 3 days ago

Racial animus led Franklin Gebhardt to murder Timothy Coggins in 1983, prosecutors said Wednesday. Indifference over a black man’s death left the Spalding County case unsolved for 34 years, Griffin Judicial Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder said in her opening statement. It was an admission seized upon by Gebhardt&rsquo...
Kendrick Johnson’s parents will exhume his body — again
 The parents of a South Georgia sophomore whose body was found in a rolled-up gym mat more than five years ago, say they will exhume their son’s body a second time to prove his death was no accident.  Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber confirmed Kendrick Johnson’s family has asked for and received permission to dig up the corpse...

Posted: 3 days ago

The parents of a South Georgia sophomore whose body was found in a rolled-up gym mat more than five years ago, say they will exhume their son’s body a second time to prove his death was no accident.  Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber confirmed Kendrick Johnson’s family has asked for and received permission to dig up the corpse...
Defense, state blast 1983 investigation into murder of black Spalding man
 The original 1983 investigation into what may have been a racially motivated murder in Spalding County  was remarkably inadequate, attorneys for the prosecution and defense agreed on Wednesday.  For the state, the shortcomings of the original probe are a challenge to overcome. And the defense made it clear they plan to exploit them....

Posted: 4 days ago

The original 1983 investigation into what may have been a racially motivated murder in Spalding County was remarkably inadequate, attorneys for the prosecution and defense agreed on Wednesday.  For the state, the shortcomings of the original probe are a challenge to overcome. And the defense made it clear they plan to exploit them....
Will unsavory witnesses derail Spalding cold case murder trial?
 A lack of physical evidence may not be the biggest challenge faced by prosecutors in the trial of a Spalding County man accused in the 1983 murder of a young black man. Opening statements are set for Wednesday morning in the trial of 60-year-old Franklin Gebhardt, one of two men charged in what the state contends was a racially motivated...

Posted: 4 days ago

A lack of physical evidence may not be the biggest challenge faced by prosecutors in the trial of a Spalding County man accused in the 1983 murder of a young black man. Opening statements are set for Wednesday morning in the trial of 60-year-old Franklin Gebhardt, one of two men charged in what the state contends was a racially motivated...
Potential jurors unfamiliar with notorious Spalding murder
 Heather Coggins has waited 35 years for her uncle to get justice. So when a shortage of potential jurors threatened to delay the murder trial for the man accused of killing him, she made an hour-long drive to Spalding County to be sure the trial was still on schedule. When only 127 of 325 summoned potential jurors answered their summons,...

Posted: 5 days ago

Heather Coggins has waited 35 years for her uncle to get justice. So when a shortage of potential jurors threatened to delay the murder trial for the man accused of killing him, she made an hour-long drive to Spalding County to be sure the trial was still on schedule. When only 127 of 325 summoned potential jurors answered their summons,...
Juror ‘no-shows’ could delay racially-charged murder trial
 No-show jurors may delay the start of a murder trial in Spalding County for what investigators say was a racially motivated murder in 1983.  Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday morning, but Judge W. Fletcher Sams said he was shocked by the number of jurors who failed to answer a summons for jury duty. The court was hoping to...

Posted: 6 days ago

No-show jurors may delay the start of a murder trial in Spalding County for what investigators say was a racially motivated murder in 1983.  Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday morning, but Judge W. Fletcher Sams said he was shocked by the number of jurors who failed to answer a summons for jury duty. The court was hoping to...
5 things to know about Spalding trial in murder of man dragged behind pickup truck
 After 35 years, one of two men accused of dragging a young black man behind his truck is finally going to trial. Jury selection begins Monday in Spalding County for 60-year-old Frank Gebhardt, charged with felony murder in the death of Timothy Coggins, who was just 23 years old at the time. Witnesses have shared competing theories about motive...

Posted: 7 days ago

After 35 years, one of two men accused of dragging a young black man behind his truck is finally going to trial. Jury selection begins Monday in Spalding County for 60-year-old Frank Gebhardt, charged with felony murder in the death of Timothy Coggins, who was just 23 years old at the time. Witnesses have shared competing theories about motive...