A mother accused of neglecting and causing the death of her 2-year-old girl, who weighed 14 pounds when she died, is facing the death penalty, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter confirmed Tuesday.
The DA’s office filed a notice of intent to pursue the death penalty against Devin Moon last week and Porter received an order assigning the case to Gwinnett Superior Court Judge Warren Davis on Tuesday. Moon was arrested in July 2018, after the death of her daughter, Reygan Moon, who police at the time said had died from malnutrition.
Porter said he felt obligated to pursue the death penalty against Moon after his office pursued it against Tiffany Moss. Moss is seeking a new trial after she was convicted and sentenced to death last year for her involvement in the death of her stepdaughter, Emani Moss, who was also allegedly malnourished before she died in 2013.
“The cases are practically identical,” Porter said of the Moon and Moss cases. “There’s no way to tell the difference between this case and the Moss case, so, since we did it in (the Moss) case, I feel like we’re ethically obligated to go forward with it here.
“The second reason is, just like in the Moss case, we have been trying to resolve this case and it’s at the point where we have to do something to get the case moving, so this was another way to do that.”
Death penalty cases are rare. Porter said he’s only sough it in about a dozen cases since he became district attorney in 1992. The last defendant he filed a notice of intent to pursue the death penalty case against, before Devin Moon, was Tiffany Moss, he said.
“No, we don’t see (the death penalty) all of the time,” Porter said.
In July 2018, Gwinnett police charged Devin Moon with felony murder and cruelty to children in the first degree after her daughter died. Moon had called police to her home in unincorporated Lilburn, reporting that she discovered her daughter unresponsive and “cold to the touch.”
At the time, police said Moon told officers her daughter had a medical condition which prevented her from gaining weight. An autopsy on the child’s body, however, revealed the daughter had been malnourished at the time of her death, something that was attributed to neglect.
Devin Moon was arrested as a result.
Porter said there had been two plea deals offered to Moon before the DA’s office proceeded with pursuing the death penalty against her.
“She’s rejected at least one and then, on the other, there’s been no response so I can’t say that one has been rejected,” Porter said.