By Patrick Yost
At approximately 9:20 p.m. on Tuesday Kaleb “Jordan” Moss, 18, was arrested by Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies inside the Mt. Perry Missionary Baptist Church on Price Mill Road in Morgan County, according to Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley.
Moss had been the subject of an intense, two-day manhunt and had been wanted by Morgan County authorities since he became the primary suspect in the beating of a 70-year-old Bostwick man.
Markley said tracking dogs led authorities to the church, and the Moss was captured without incident. Markley said Moss had a knife on his person when he was captured.
Last Wednesday, July 24, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office issued an appeal to the public and a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of Moss, whose last known address was in Barrow County.
According to Capt. Chris Bish, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Moss had been identified as a suspect in the beating of Thomas Gary Etris. Etris, 70, was found in a pool of blood in the carport area of his Bostwick Highway residence on Sunday, June 23. Bish said authorities believe that Moss and another person went to Etris’ house, ostensibly to ask for part-time employment. Bish said the second person at the scene told authorities that soon after they approached Etris, Moss allegedly attacked him.
The second person left the residence. “He threatened the witness. He said, if you say anything I’ll hurt you,” Bish said.
Etris suffered several injuries in the beating, including a fractured eye socket. Bish said Etris has spent several weeks in and out of the hospital for treatment to his injuries.
Moss, Bish said, remains on probation for a juvenile conviction and was considered dangerous.
On Monday, Barrow County authorities initiated a chase after Moss allegedly stole a red Dodge truck, an AR-15 rifle and a shotgun from a Barrow County residence.
That chase ended when Moss crashed the pick-up truck near the intersection of Price Mill and Gober roads in Oconee County. He then fled on foot.
Since Monday afternoon officers from the Morgan and Oconee County sheriff’s offices, the Georgia State Patrol, Gwinnett County and Jefferson Police Department worked heavily wooded areas near the Price Mill Road, High Shoals Road and Rehoboth Road area.
On Monday at approximately 7 p.m., Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley said, Moss was allegedly observed near Gober Road. On Tuesday at approximately 2:30 p.m., a deputy reported observing Moss carrying an object near Rehoboth Road in Morgan County. More than 20 law enforcement officers had set up a wide perimeter around the area and at press time on Tuesday, dogs had been sent into the wooded area to aid the search. During the afternoon a Georgia State Patrol helicopter was observed hovering over the wooded area and officers from Gwinnett County were observed preparing an unmanned drone to fly over the area.
Markley said then that officers would stay in the area until Moss was apprehended. “Based on his propensity for violence we felt like we need to do everything we can to protect the public,” he said.
A week after Etris was beaten, authorities came close to apprehending Moss near the Nolan Store Road after he exited a moving vehicle and fled the area. Markley said Moss’ girlfriend lives on Price Mill Road and that on Tuesday morning, he had broken into her house and Facebook-messaged her using the girl’s computer.
“He is a violent individual. He has a tremendous anger management problem and is very combative. We want to get him off the street,” Bish said.
Bish said following the beating, the suspect removed approximately $30 from Etris’ pocket. In Morgan County, Moss faces aggravated battery, robbery and burglary charges. He also faces more charges in Barrow County, Markley said.