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Defense files motion to dismiss indictment in Hackle sibling, Bobbielynn Moore case

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Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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PEARSON, Ga. (WALB) - Keyante Greene, who is facing the death penalty in a triple homicide that spanned two counties, is waiting to learn the ruling on a motion filed to dismiss his indictment.

Greene is facing the death penalty in both Berrien and Atkinson counties in connection to the 2019 deaths of Wayne and Mercedes Hackle and Bobbielynn Moore.

Greene’s arraignment, set for Tuesday in Atkinson County, was postponed. Instead, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the indictment. If the judge rules for it, Greene must be re-indicted.

The defense’s argument for dismissing the indictment stems from former prosecutor Derry Perryman’s signature being on the document.

At the time of the grand jury, they said Perryman had been promoted from district attorney to judge in the Alapaha Judicial Circuit.

District Attorney Chase Studstill called Rebekah Ditto, the chief assistant district attorney,...
District Attorney Chase Studstill called Rebekah Ditto, the chief assistant district attorney, to the witness stand.(WALB)

At that point, Rebekah Ditto, the chief assistant district attorney, took over his duties.

Karin Kissiah, one of Greene’s attorneys, said Perryman’s signature could’ve influenced jurors.

“When a sitting judge is signing an indictment, it serves as a signal to the grand jury that the evidence is fact,” said Kissiah.

She said residents and jurors are trained to view judges as an authority in law matters.

District Attorney Chase Studstill then called Ditto to the witness stand.

They questioned her about her duties and what she was told to do in regards to signing indictments.

“I was advised to leave (Dick) Perryman’s name on the indictment and all official letterhead from the office,” Ditto said.

Studstill explained to the judge why he thinks the District Attorney’s Office took appropriate steps to ensure a smooth transition.

“Mrs. Ditto, when she was acting as district attorney, she did not have constitutional power by the governor or from being elected in the general election, therefore, the predecessor’s name remains on the letterhead until in this case, the governor appoints or an election takes place,” Studstill said.

Greene’s arraignment, set for Tuesday at the Atkinson County Courthouse, was postponed.
Greene’s arraignment, set for Tuesday at the Atkinson County Courthouse, was postponed.(WALB)

The state asked the court to dismiss the defense’s motion.

Chief Judge Clay Tomlinson asked the defense what they would’ve wanted the DA’s office to do.

“There is no requirement that a prosecutor’s name must be on the indictment. It could’ve just been left blank,” said Kissiah.

Tomlinson said he aims to rule on the issue later this week.

Greene has another arraignment scheduled for Thursday in Berrien County.

Jonathan Vann, 20, was also charged in connection to the three deaths.

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