LAWRENCEVILLE — The death penalty is being considered for the parents of 10-year-old Emani Moss.
Gwinnett Country District Attorney Danny Porter confirmed Tuesday that his office is weighing capital punishment against Eman and Tiffany Moss, the Lawrenceville couple accused of capping off years of abuse by starving their daughter and attempting to burn her body.
“Like in all cases where I consider the death penalty,” Porter said, “I look at the evidence to see if I can prove a statutory aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt before I decide.”
Those aggravating factors can be wide-ranging, but, in the case of Emani Moss’ murder, would likely rest on the determination if the alleged crimes were “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated battery to the victim.”
Porter filed notice last week of his intent to pursue the death penalty on such grounds against Ki Song Kim, accused of the violent stabbing deaths of a Duluth couple.
Authorities believe Eman, her father, and Tiffany, her stepmother, kept 10-year-old Emani Moss isolated inside their apartment for several weeks, failing to feed her. A Gwinnett County police homicide detective testified last week that Eman confessed that he came home from work on Oct. 24 to find his daughter “seizing up” in the bath tub.
The couple reportedly left the girl there until she died six days later, emaciated weighing just 32 pounds. They allegedly attempted to burn her body before Eman Moss called police early in the morning of Nov. 2.
All of those incidents came after the girl attempted to run away twice and the Department of Family and Children Services was notified multiple times. Tiffany Moss was arrested and pleaded guilty to child abuse in 2010 after a teacher discovered bruises and welts on Emani’s body.
The decision on the death penalty doesn’t have to be made until a little later in the legal process, Porter said.
“The notice has to be filed before arraignment, so we have some time,” he said.