Update: Mobley now in state custody following his murder conviction last week

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Update

Jerome Ray Mobley. Photo courtesy of the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Jerome Mobley was transferred to the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison near Jackson in Butts County on Dec. 6, after being convicted the day before for the murder of his estranged wife in front of the couple’s two children. He was sentenced to serve life without parole plus 75 years after being convicted on all eight counts related to the murder – malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, aggravated stalking, burglary in the first degree and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Mobley had been housed in the Walton County Jail with county taxpayers on the hook for his medical expenses since being discharged from Grady Memorial Hospital in June 2018. That responsibility has now been transferred to the state authorities, much to the relief of Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said he does not yet have a tally of the cost of housing Mobley until last week, but the first bill that came in from Grady was $440,000.

“The county attorney was able to negotiate that one down to $10,000, but we do not yet have all the bills,” Chapman said. “I also had to hire a health care company to come in and see to him every day and I haven’t seen those bills either.”

Chapman gave credit to the Alcovy Superior Court Judge John Ott for getting the case to trial in such a timely manner.

“He saw that it was dealt with as quickly as possible,” Chapman said. “I expressed my concerns to him and he did an exceptional job in getting the trial on the calendar when he did.”

Update

It took the jury less than 20 minutes late Wednesday afternoon to return a verdict of Guilty on all eight of the counts against Jerome Mobley, including felony and malice murder and the two counts of cruelty to children for the April 18 murder of his estranged wife, Katelyn Mobley, in front of the couple’s two children.

In sentencing, Alcovy Circuit Court Superior Court Chief Superior Court Judge John M. Ott did not pull any punches when he sentenced Mobley to life without the possibility of parole, plus 75 years. He said Mobley has a “malignant and twisted heart” and that his twisted face was a reflection of his “malignant and twisted soul,” and that he had shown no remorse for taking away his children’s mother.

“The most important thing to a child is the love of a mother. You are probably the most despicable person that I have ever seen,” Ott said before announcing the sentence. “You will never see the light of day,” he added after handing the sentence down. In addition, Ott said Mobley is to have no contact whatsoever with his children or the family of Katie Mobley.

“No letters, no cards. You’re dead to them,” Ott said.

After two days of the state presenting evidence, attorney Anthony Carter called only one witness for the defense, Mobley himself. Mobley had to speak by blocking the tracheal tube in his throat as a result of the injury he caused to himself at the end of the manhunt for him following the murder of his wife. Mobley said he did not intend to shoot his wife and that he had gone to the home that morning in an attempt to see his children, acknowledging however that he knew it was in violation of a judge’s order. He said not being able to see his children was breaking his heart. While he acknowledged that the evidence supported that he had shot and killed his wife, Mobley claimed to not remember anything after he was shot in the leg. His wife had shot him through the bedroom door the morning that he killed her. The evidence supported that she had fired off five rounds from a revolver that she had in the bedroom with her. One of the rounds hit him. Mobley fired two shots from a 12-gauge shotgun that he had in his car, the one that hit his wife at close range resulted in her death. Mobley said he did not remember anything after going to the car and reaching in for the gun. He did not remember returning to the house and killing his wife.

“I did not know she was dead until four weeks later,” Mobley said, adding it was Chief Deputy Keith Brooks who came to Grady Hospital and told him she was dead. “I didn’t believe him. I didn’t want to believe him.”

Some of the most compelling evidence against Mobley came from taped statements given to the child advocate counselor at a Child’s Voice Advocacy Center in Social Circle the day of the murder by his two children who had witnessed their mother die.

Alcovy Circuit Court District Attorney Layla Zon entered evidence of three previous violent convictions as aggravating circumstances that had not been heard by the jury prior to sentencing. These included convictions for domestic violence against his first wife, his father and an attack against another individual. Katie Mobley’s father, Joey Smith, gave emotional testimony during the victim’s impact segment, addressing Mobley directly when he said, “I hope when you look in the mirror every day you remember what you did to my daughter and what you did to them babies.”

He opened his victim impact statement addressing the judge.

“Katie called me every day that she was alive, and she protected him throughout his whole marriage. ‘I love him, Daddy,’ she would say. We do not know the whole story,” Smith said. “But I took him in and called him my son and he took the most precious thing in my whole life.”

Initial story

With a jury of five men and eight women seated in the trial of Jerome Mobley for the alleged April 2018 murder of his wife, Katie Mobley, opening arguments got underway in the Walton County Superior courtroom of Alcovy Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge John M. Ott Monday afternoon. It opened with Assistant District Attorney Dave Williamson reciting the words spoken on the 9-1-1 call the day of the murder by Gentry Mobley, the 9-year-old daughter of the couple.

“My daddy just broke in and he shot my mom,” Williamson recited. “You can hear her brother crying as he was trying to perform CPR. One on the phone, the other on the floor begging his mother not to die.”

Williamson went on to outline the events that led up to the day on April 18, 2018, when Katie Mobley was allegedly shot and killed by her estranged husband. Mobley has been charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, aggravated stalking, burglary in the first degree and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Mobely was arrested on April 20, 2018 after a two-day manhunt that ended in a field behind the home of the Womacks. When the homeowners approached him, Mobley placed a shotgun under his chin and fired. He survived the attempted suicide and was lifeflighted to Grady Memorial Hospital where underwent extensive reconstructive surgery. He remained at Grady until June 21 when he was released into the custody of Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Williamson noted that the events had not begun the day of the fatal shooting, but four months earlier when Mobley had gone to his estranged wife’s home in the early morning hours and attempted to remove his two children.

“He had the two children outside when he sent one child back inside to get a revolver for him,” Williamson said. “When police arrived, they found the defendant looking into a window. He ran to his truck with Gannon (the couple’s 8-year-old son) inside and a pursuit ensued with Gannon still inside.” Mobley eventually stopped and was arrested, at which time he was issued with a restraining order preventing him from any contact with Katie Mobley and to stay away from the home she was staying in (on Knox Chapel Road) in Social Circle. Williamson said prior to the day of the shooting, Mobley had continually violated the terms of the restraining order by message and by Facebook message. On the morning of April 18, he had gone to the home and broken in while armed with a shotgun. Williamson said that Katie had managed to get off five shots with her revolver, hitting Mobley in the groin, but Mobley had fired two shots, one from close range, which eventually led to her death.

“The children emerged to see their mother stumbling around bleeding,” Williamson said, adding when they tried to confront their father, who still had the shotgun in his hand, he drove away. “Leaving Katie to die. Her last words told Gentry to call 911.” It was that same shotgun, Williamson said, that Mobley used two shoot himself two days later.

During his opening arguments, Mobley’s attorney, Anthony M Carter, made reference to the Mobley’s disfigurement as a result of the suicide attempt, telling the jurors that in the courtroom they will find “a man with half of his face missing.” He went on to say that about 97 percent of the testimony jurors will hear will not be refuted but pointed out that when Mobley went to his estranged wife’s home that morning, he too was shot. He also noted that when Mobley had gone to the home in January to see his children, he was not under any legal restrictions preventing him from seeing his children. He told them that at the end of the trial, he would be asking them to make a very important decision – to find the defendant not guilty.

The state will begin presenting evidence for the prosecution at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, Dec. 4. Alcovy Circuit Court District Attorney Layla Zon said several witnesses will be called to testify to the events on the day of the shooting.

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