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Woman Sentenced To Be Executed For Starving 10-Year-Old Stepdaughter To Death

Despite a pattern of abuse, Tiffany Moss was still a caretaker for 10-year-old Emani Moss, who weighed just 32 pounds at the time of her death.

By Gina Tron

A Georgia woman will be executed for starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death.

Tiffany Moss, 36, was sentenced Tuesday to die by lethal injection after being convicted of murder, cruelty to children and concealing a murder in the death of Emani Moss. She appeared stoic and emotionless as she was sentenced, sitting alone as the sentencing was read because she chose to represent herself at her trial.

While she is set for execution in early June, it’s unlikely that will happen due to possible appeal attempts, NBC News reports. She is now the only woman on death row in Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Emani Moss's body was found burned inside a trash bag at her apartment complex in the fall of 2013. She weighed only 32 pounds at the time of her death, according to Atlanta station 11Alive. The girl's father, Eman Moss, was convicted in 2015 and is serving a life sentence for burning her body and trying to hide it.

Moss didn't offer a defense during her trial, according to 11Alive, declining to make an opening statement or closing argument and deciding not to cross-examine witnesses. She never even addressed the jury, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That probably didn't help her case.

Tiffany Moss

The jury did however see graphic autopsy photos and the prosecution detailed how she kept Emani confined to her room and denied her food until she wasted away. The child literally starved to death. But Moss found no trouble feeding and taking care of her biological children, who shared the home with the family, the AJC reports. 

There were also missed opportunities where the Department of Family and Children's Services could have saved the girl, Emani's grandmother Robin Moss claims in a lawsuit she's filing against the agency. She says caseworkers were well aware that the child was being abused, according to 11Alive. Just four months before Emani died, the grandmother claims the welfare agency received an anonymous call that  Emani was being neglected by her father and stepmother, with the caller specifically mentioning that she was too thin. The lawsuit claims the agency did not follow up on the call. Back in 2012, Emani's school reported emotional and psychological neglect to DFCS after Tiffany Moss allegedly hit Emani with a belt for eating too slowly.

Before all that, Tiffany Moss pleaded guilty to beating Emani in 2010 with a belt and was put on probation for five years for child abuse. However, she still ended up being Emani's guardian. Two years after that beating, Emani tried to run away from home twice and told police she had been tied to a chair with belts and put in a cold shower. Her parents dad and stepmom were never charged and the complaints were forwarded to DFCS. 

Back in 2004, Eman Moss was charged and convicted of battery and child cruelty for beating Emani's biological mother in front of the child, 11Alive reports.

“There’s no joy when a jury imposes a death sentence,” District Attorney Danny Porter said after the sentencing, according to the AJC. “But this was one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen. The first time you look at it it made you sick. The last time you look at it it makes you sick.”

After the girl's death, an intake case manager, a social services administrator and a program assistant at DFCS were all terminated and others were reportedly disciplined.