Atlanta, April 27, 2016 – In a 5-to-2 decision, the Supreme Court of Georgia has denied a stay
of execution for Daniel Anthony Lucas, who is scheduled to be put to death at 7:00 tonight by
lethal injection at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, GA.
Lucas, 37, was sentenced to death in Jones County for the 1998 murders of Steven Moss, 37, and
his two children, 11-year-old Bryan Moss and 15-year-old Kristin Moss. Lucas, who was 19 at
the time, and his co-defendant Brandon Joseph Rhode, were burglarizing the family’s home in
Grey, Georgia, near Macon, when first Bryan, then Kristin, came home from school and
interrupted them. Lucas shot Bryan with a .25 caliber handgun, then led the boy to a bedroom
where he shot him again repeatedly. In the meantime, Rhode met Kristin as she arrived home,
placed her in a chair, and shot her twice with a .357 caliber handgun. When their father Steven
came home early from work, Rhode shot him four times. Lucas then retrieved a .22 caliber
handgun from Rhode’s car and again shot Bryan and Kristin. Later that day, Gerri Ann Moss
came home from work and found the bodies of her slain husband and children. Lucas and Rhode
eventually confessed to the crimes, and Rhode was executed in September 2010.
In addition to denying Lucas’s motion for a stay of execution, the state Supreme Court has also
denied his request to appeal a ruling by the Butts County Superior Court. Earlier today, that court
both denied his motion for a stay and dismissed his claim that it is unconstitutional to execute
Lucas because he was only 19 at the time of the murders.
In today’s order, the state Supreme Court has expressed concern that Lucas’s current legal
challenge was not filed until the day before his scheduled execution. All legal proceedings in his
case came to a conclusion five months ago.
All the Justices concur in today’s ruling, except Justice Robert Benham and Justice Carol
Hunstein, who dissent.