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After 6 prior convictions on other charges, man gets life without parole for kidnapping

With six prior convictions in Hall County, a Hall County man was given a life sentence without the chance of parole after a kidnapping trial, according to court documents.

Billy Ray Moon Sr., 51, was sentenced April 21 following a three-day trial.

According to information provided by Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh’s office, the case concerned a woman trying to run away from Moon during an argument Feb. 13, 2020.

“She flagged down a stranger in a car on Roy Parks Road and attempted to get in her vehicle,” according to information provided by the district attorney’s office. “Billy Moon then grabbed the victim by her hair and waist and dragged her across the yard and attempted to shove her into his vehicle.”

Moon was indicted in February 2020 on charges including kidnapping and terroristic threats. The trial began April 19, and a jury returned a verdict around 5 p.m. April 21.

Moon was convicted on the kidnapping and terroristic threats charges.

The prosecution filed a recidivist notice for Moon noting six prior convictions that would be pertinent for sentencing. The cases, which were closed between 1992 and 2019, concerned first-degree forgery, burglary, theft of services, theft by receiving and possession of diazepam.

Under Georgia law, a person convicted of three felonies will “serve the maximum time provided in the sentence” upon conviction for a fourth offense.

Superior Court Judge Jason Deal handed down a sentence of life without the possibility of parole plus five years, according to court documents.

Defense attorney Andy Maddox called the case “another example of the need to continue to examine the criminal laws and sentencing mandatory minimums” in Georgia.

“I can certainly understand, based upon a literal reading of the Georgia kidnapping statutes, the verdict of the jury,” Maddox said. “However, the facts of this case would not be considered by many to be a traditional kidnapping situation.  We have fine judges here in Hall County and I would rather they be allowed to use their wisdom and experience to determine an appropriate sentence.”

Though his client did have a “fairly lengthy criminal history,” Maddox said these were not violent felonies.

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