Senior Assistant David Atwell secures Life Without Parole in Grady County

Lopez found guilty, gets life for May 2017 murder

  • 6 hrs ago

CAIRO — A Grady County jury found Nicholas Lopez guilty of murder and a judge has sentenced him to life without parole.

The two-day trial ended Tuesday, and following the jury’s verdict, Grady County Superior Court Judge Kevin Chason handed down the sentence of life without the possibility of parole. 

Lopez was indicted for the May 26, 2017 shooting death of Ronald Moon, 49, of Cairo.

“Mr. Lopez had been a thorn in law enforcement’s side for quite some time,” said South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joe Mulholland. “I thank the jury for their hard work and diligence and the Sheriff’s Office for a thorough investigation. Senior ADA (David) Atwell did a commendable job trying the case. I pray for Mr. Moon’s family and hope this gives them some closure.”

Lopez was indicted for murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and aggravated assault. 

The Grady County Sheriff’s Office headed up the investigation, with Chief Investigator Chris Luckey taking the lead. 

According to an incident report, a male complainant told the responding officer that Lopez shot Moon in the chest. 

Authorities found Moon, who was in the yard at the incident address with a gunshot wound and excessive bleeding, according to the report. 

The trial concluded a long month for the South Georgia Office of the District Attorney in Decatur, Grady and Calhoun counties were trials were being held. The DA’s office secured four life without parole convictions, along with a 30-plus-year conviction in a child molestation case in four separate trials.

“Myself and three senior assistants tried four cases and were able to secure four convictions” Mulholland said. “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.”