By Patricia Beech – Ripley Bee
It took an Adams County jury in the Arthur D. Moman murder trial less than two hours to render a guilty verdict on Thursday, March 31.
Moman was found guilty of murdering Ricky L. Francis in February of 2015. On Wednesday, Moman took the stand in his own defense. Calling the state’s eyewitnesses liars, he denied that he intended to kill Mr. Francis. “I didn’t want to kill him,” Moman told the court. “He was my friend.”
Assistant Prosecutor Kris Blanton cross examined Moman. Holding autopsy photos inches from his face, he asked, “Is this how you treat a friend Mr. Moman, is this how you treat a friend?” The defense’s case rested on the testimony of a forensic expert who determined that none of the stab wounds Moman inflicted were fatal. Francis died from blood loss.
Following the guilty verdict several of the victim’s family members addressed the court and Moman.
Robin Francis, brother of the victim, said, “My brother was 32 years old, he had his whole life ahead of him. The last fourteen months have been really hard on my family. I kept wondering what’s taking so long, but now I see, and I have a greater respect for the court system and the law. It’s been painful, no one deserves to have their life taken like that.” The victim’s mother, Barbara Smith, said, “My son didn’t deserve what happened to him. He (Moman) has taken my life, and left four children
without a father.”
Trista Russell, mother of two of Francis’ children said, “Ricky was a good man, he didn’t deserve what happened to him. He had a wonderful life ahead of him with kids who needed him. No one should ever have to explain to their children why they’ll never see they’re daddy again.”
Moman stood before the court in shackles and apologized to the victim’s family, calling Mr. Francis his friend, and saying, “He didn’t deserve what happened to him. I’ll spend the rest of my life in prison for what I’ve done. Please forgive me. I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through.”
Judge Brett Spencer sentenced Moman to 15 years to life, and informed him of his appellate rights, “I can’t say I’m surprised that you’ve come to this point,” Spencer told him. Moman responded by insulting his legal team, the prosecutor’s office, and Judge Spencer’s court.
I surely don’t need no appeal done in this court, I’ve seen the way justice is done in this court. Jehovah’s going to take care of this,” Moman said. “I have no confidence in this system, you have attorneys who
coach you into doing something, into working with the prosecutors, they’re supposed to work for the defendant, they don’t do that, I seen this, I have no trust in this court at all.” The normally cordial tone of the Spencer court room shifted somewhat as the Judge informed Moman, “I have asked the Adams County Sheriff’s
Department if they could expeditiously, and that means as soon as possible, remove you to prison, and I intend for that to happen tomorrow morning.”