Emani Moss (pictured) was 10 years old. She lived with her father and stepmother in Georgia, United States. She should have been safe. In fact she was living with evil.
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By Chris Summers 30 April 2019
Tiffany Moss has been convicted of murdering her 10-year-old stepdaughter Emani Moss after a short but gripping trial in the United States. On 30 April 2019 she was sentenced to death by a jury in Atlanta, Georgia.
After Emani Moss’s teacher, Lisa Neal, gave evidence at the recent murder trial she burst into tears and ended up hugging the 10-year-old girl’s grandmother in the courtroom.
It was just one of a number of episodes which illustrated why the youngster’s death was so tragic and avoidable.
The trial heard how Emani had wasted away because her stepmother Tiffany Moss had stopped feeding her and repeatedly beat her.
Emani’s father, Eman Moss, cut a pathetic figure when he gave evidence against his wife at the trial.
Eman, who had cut a plea bargain with the authorities and agreed to testified in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, arrived in his green prison uniform and recalled the horrific circumstances of his daughter’s death in a bland, emotionless voice.
He said Tiffany had sent him WhatsApp messages – as his daughter lay dying of starvation – bragging about how she had cooked lasagne for him and their two children.
“Look, I cooked,” Tiffany told her husband on 29 October 2013.
Emani died the following day and the couple put her body in the computer room of their house in Gwinnett County and Tiffany went out trick or treating with their children on Halloween.
Tiffany, who spent most of her time watching TV, was an avid fan of crime series and when her stepdaughter died she told her husband they would dispose of her with ideas she had seen on the TV show Criminal Minds.
But by the time they finally decided to get rid of her body they found rigor mortis had set in and they had to “break” her body to get her into a metal trashcan.
They drove out into the countryside with Emani’s body in the trashcan and the two other children in the car.
They then set fire to Emani’s body but returned home with the charred remains in the trashcan.
Eman went to work the next day and eventually called 911 the next day, but initially told police his daughter had died after accidentally drinking a “chemical”.
Grilled by detectives, Eman eventually admitted he was covering up for his wife.
The child’s grandmother, Robin Moss, said Tiffany repeatedly refused to let her see her granddaughter and Emani’s aunt, Sharoniece, said she feared for her niece and even contacted Georgia Children’s Services when she heard the girl had been taken out of school to be “home schooled” because she knew Emani would receive brutality, not education, at home.
At her trial Tiffany defended herself – having fired her attorneys – but she did not give any evidence or cross examine any witnesses, including her husband.
Her defence was so passive that standby counsel tried to intervene and persuade the judge she needed to be represented by an attorney.
But the judge refused, accepting Tiffany’s argument that it was up to her how she defended herself. Tiffany has said her fate “lay in God’s hands”.
District Attorney Danny Porter argued her silence in court was a deliberate strategy to “sway jurors not to put her to death”.
He said she was hoping her silence made her look “outgunned and overpowered” and sympathetic jurors would choose to spare her life.
In his closing speech, Mr Porter said: “As a parent, your job is to protect your child from the evils of this world at all costs. At all costs. But Emani Moss, this child, she lived with the evils of this world.”
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Jones held up a photograph of the little girl as she made an impassioned closing speech.
“To this defendant Emani was nothing. She was hated. She was disposable. She was trash. But she wasn’t. She was loved. She was Emani. And she mattered. She mattered!” roared Ms Jones as the teacher, Mrs Neal, wept.