On Tuesday, July 26, 2022 Logan Christopher Gordy entered a negotiated guilty plea to one count of Homicide by Vehicle and two counts of Serious Injury by Vehicle. Gordy was sentenced to 10 years on probation, with 8 months to be served in the county jail. The sentence was entered under the Georgia First Offender act. Gordy will also be required to complete a defensive driving course, perform 100 hours of community service, and surrender his driver’s license for disposition to the Georgia DMV.
The incident that gave rise to Gordy’s criminal charges occurred on October 3, 2019. Gordy, now 20 years old, was a 17 year old High School senior when he caused a motor vehicle collision on Daniels Road. The collision resulted in the death of Gordy’s front seat passenger Alexis Moore, life threatening injuries to another passenger, Aubreanna Baxley, and serious but non-life threatening injury to the driver of another vehicle, Matisha Barajas.
The motor vehicle collision was thoroughly investigated by the Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) led by Investigator Rodney Curtis with the assistance of Trooper Garrett King and Investigators Scotty Smith and Stephen Langham.
The investigation revealed that Gordy and his passengers, all high school students, were passing time after school until time to attend the Dade County High School Homecoming Parade. Alexis Moore, as a member of the school’s color guard, was expecting to perform in the parade.
During this time, Gordy decided to joyride down McKaig Road, a road which has earned the nickname “roller coaster road,” within the community due to its series of hills, and connecting Daniels Road, also with hilly terrain. As Gordy traveled down McKaig Road and Daniels Road, he operated his vehicle in an excessively reckless manner by driving at a high rate of speed and swerving back and forth across the roadway.
As Gordy was driving west on Daniels Road, Matisha Barajas had just left her home and was driving east on Daniels Road, with her two small children, aged 7 and 9, on their way to the Homecoming Parade. As both vehicles approached a curve at the top of a steep hill, Gordy was traveling on the wrong side of the road and both vehicles collided head-on.
Investigation conducted by the SCRT team, including data collected from both vehicles, determined the speed of Gordy’s vehicle to be in excess of 68 miles per hour. Several witnesses to the collision, including a resident on Daniels Road, estimated the speed of Gordy’s vehicle to be approximately 70 miles per hour. The speed limit on Daniels Road at the area of collision is 35 miles per hour.
Gordy entered his guilty plea and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Brian M. House. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Hartline with the assistance of Victim Advocate Amy Reed, Administrative Assistant Tara Page and Investigator Christy Smith.
The mother of Alexis Moore has been outspoken that she did not want any charges brought in this case. The District Attorney’s Office has a duty to prosecute violations of the law without fear, favor, or affection. In some instances we may decide the facts and circumstances of a case compel us to file charges despite the wishes of the victim or any public sentiment. Given the serious nature of the charges here it would have been a dereliction of our constitutional and statutory duty to fail to bring charges in this case where the evidence established a clear and obvious violation of the law. In addition, the other victims in the case, who all sustained serious injuries felt that Gordy needed to face some consequences for his actions although they asked the District Attorney’s Office to take into account the youth of Mr. Gordy and to try and create a sentence that provided some consequences for his actions but also allowed him the opportunity to move on with his life afterwards. The fact that Mr. Gordy was given first offender treatment means that if he successfully completes his sentence, without getting into any additional trouble, he will not be a convicted felon.
The case received some media attention and due to Georgia State Bar ethical rules prohibiting pre-trial discussion about the facts of a pending case the District Attorney’s Office has not been able to respond to the incorrect and misleading material. Until the case was resolved we have not been able to correct the false and misleading information that has been put out about this case. A newspaper article presented an utterly one sided version of the case which omitted critical details and mischaracterized other facts. The mischaracterization of the case in the media and in social media caused the Court to have grave concerns for the impartiality and fairness of the judicial process and therefore to issue an order that prohibited pre-trial statements by the parties, or any witnesses, outside of the courtroom.
The news story presented a false version of events that claimed an animal jumped into the road and caused the accident. There is no evidence to support this claim. A 911 call placed by Matisha Barajas, immediately after the crash, captured the sounds of her young children crying in distress, and Mr. Gordy admitting the crash was his fault and that he was in the wrong lane. The investigation by the Georgia State Patrol SCRT clearly revealed the crash was the result of Mr. Gordy’s reckless driving. Mr. Gordy himself admitted this under oath during his plea hearing.
The article also mischaracterized the injuries suffered by the other victims as “minor”. One of the victims suffered a major injuries to her intestines and colon, spent nearly a month in intensive care, required seven surgeries to repair, and also had significant spinal and rib injuries. Another victim suffered a significant shoulder injury which required surgery. Neither of these victims or their families considered these to be “minor” injuries. There was also the false impression created that the District Attorney was seeking a 45 year long sentence. This was utterly false and no such recommendation was ever made and there was no legitimate basis for this claim.
Additionally there was criticism of the length of time the case was pending. Our office moved this case as quickly as we could given all the surrounding circumstances. The Georgia State Patrol SCRT does an incredibly thorough investigation in these cases but the investigation does take a considerable amount of time; about 6 months in this case. One of the reasons the investigation took that long is that one of victims required months of intensive medical care due to her injuries from this incident, and she was
unable to give a statement to GSP for several months. Once the report was turned over to the District Attorney’s Office our court system had been shut down by the Supreme Court of Georgia due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we were not permitted to empanel a new Grand Jury for many months. The case was indicted in April of 2021. The case was placed on the next trial calendar in October of 2021. Mr. Gordy’s attorneys requested and were given a continuance until the April 2022 trial term. The Court then continued the case again due to the misleading pre-trial publicity created by the article released just before the case was set for trial. The case was set specially set for trial in August of 2022 but Gordy elected to accept the recommended plea agreement from the State instead of going to trial.
“Hopefully the facts we have set forth in this press release will set the record straight about the actual facts of the case” stated District Attorney Arnt. Arnt further stated: “This case created a tragic and horrible situation for all the families involved, and nothing we do in court can ease the pain and loss suffered by the families of the victims. The plea agreement in this case reflects thoughtful consideration of the circumstances of the case, the input and wishes of all victims and family members of victims, and community safety. I am pleased that Mr. Gordy chose to take responsibility for his actions that day and the irreparable harm that they caused. Nothing can bring back Alexis Moore, but hopefully all the families can find some measure of closure with the conclusion of this case. I know that my staff will continue to pray for all the families involved in this case.”