Friends of three slain members of a Jones County family have planned a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening during the hour of the scheduled execution of one of the two men convicted of murdering Steven Moss and his children Kristin and Bryan in 1998.
State prison officials said Monday that the death sentence for 31-year-old Brandon Joseph Rhode is to be carried out at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The then-teenage Rhode and accomplice Daniel Lucas were sentenced to die for their roles in the Moss shooting deaths, which happened while the two were burglarizing the family’s Griswoldville Road residence on April 23, 1998. Lucas’ case remains under appeal.
Tuesday’s vigil will be at Carol’s Park, next to the Jones County Courthouse, in Gray.
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“There’s been a pretty big response with everybody coming together and helping,” organizer Donya Dupree said Monday.
Dupree had gone to school with Bryan Moss since first grade.
The boy was 11, a fifth-grader at Mattie Wells Elementary, when he was killed. His sister Kristin, a freshman at Jones County High, was 15. Steven Moss was 37.
“The thing of it is, we’re not doing this to celebrate the death of (Brandon Rhode),” Dupree, 23, said of the vigil. “I don’t want people to misinterpret it that we’re trying to celebrate that, ‘Yea, justice is finally being served.’ It’s the simple fact that, yes, justice is being served, but we want to let everybody know that 12 years later nobody forgot about (the Moss family).”
Dupree added: “We’re not trying to ... be like, ‘Ha ha,’ because it’s sad on both ends, for both families. Because the Rhode family is losing a son, a child, a grandchild, a nephew.”