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Jury convicts accused murder, Judge Chason orders life sentence

A Grady County jury convicted Nicholas Lopez last week for the May 2017 murder of his neighbor. After the two-day trial and conviction, Chief Superior Court Judge J. Kevin Chason sentenced Lopez to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Lopez was found guilty of shooting his neighbor, Robert James Moon, 49, as Moon was standing in his yard on Bond Road, May 26, 2017.
David Atwell, senior assistant district attorney, tried the case for the State at trial, and Chris Luckey, chief investigator with the Grady County Sheriff’s Office, was lead investigator.
“Mr. Lopez had been a thorn in law enforcement’s side for quite some time. I thank the jury for their hard work and diligence, and the Sheriff’s Office for a thorough investigation. Senior ADA Atwell did a commendable job trying the case. I pray for Mr. Moon’s family and hope this gives them some closure” stated District Attorney Joe Mulholland.
Lopez, who lived across the street from Moon, fled the scene in a white SUV, which was later found abandoned at his father-in-law’s home on Midway Road. After deciding to turn himself over to law enforcement, Lopez was found walking on a road near the Grady County Sheriff’s Office, and he was taken into custody without incident.
Lopez was on trial for murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and aggravated assault.
The Lopez trial concluded a month of trials in the South Georgia Judicial Circuit, which includes Grady, Decatur, Calhoun, Baker and Mitchell counties. “Myself and three senior assistants tried four cases and were able to secure four convictions.  We welcome the opportunity to prep for the coming year and we will be ready to start anew in January.  Merry Christmas to everyone in the Circuit and stay safe over the course of the holidays.”

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