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Arrest made in Smithville cold-case murder

New evidence leads to arrest in 6-year-old homicide case

Timothy Danue French, 43, was arrested at his Smithville home Friday and charged with the 2008 stabbing murder of 82-year-old Smithville resident A.J. Mosely. (Special Photo)

Timothy Danue French, 43, was arrested at his Smithville home Friday and charged with the 2008 stabbing murder of 82-year-old Smithville resident A.J. Mosely. (Special Photo)

SMITHVILLE — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office have made an arrest in the nearly 6-year-old murder of A.J. Mosely, a Smithville resident.

Mosely, 82, was stabbed to death at his home on Jan. 15, 2008, in what Danny Jackson, GBI special agent in charge, called a “brutal, brutal murder.”

Evidence gathered through the years, plus some important new evidence, led to the Friday morning arrest of Timothy Danue French in connection with the Mosely homicide, Jackson said. For reasons that they said were important to the case, neither Jackson nor Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals would elaborate on the nature of the new evidence.

“I’ll just say one thing about that,” Rachals said. “Scientific.”

Jackson appeared to agree with Rachals’ assessment of the breakthrough, giving high praise for work done by the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta.

Rachals said that once there was sufficient evidence to arrest French, Lee County sheriff’s deputies and agents of the GBI visited the suspect’s residence in Smithville, but French was not at home. He was discovered shortly after that “out and about” near the residence. Approached by a deputy, he was arrested without incident, Rachals said.

“I don’t believe he had a clue about what was happening,” Rachals said.

French was charged with felony murder and robbery, Rachals said, and transported to the Lee County jail. Officials say additional charges may be pending.