Marietta man pleads guilty on RICO charges, covering up the murder of his business partner, and solicitation of murder

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the backgroundCobb County Superior Court (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady, Jr. announced that on April 8, Ross Byrne, 58, a former business partner in a bakery, pleaded guilty on charges of “Violation of the RICO Act, Conspiracy to Commit Concealing Death of Another, Conspiracy to Commit Hindering Apprehension of Another, and Criminal Solicitation to Commit Murder.”

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark sentenced Byrne to 20 years in prison.

The public information release from the DA’s office described the events leading up to the charges as follows:

On January 27, 2014, Jerry Moore was found stabbed to death inside his Marietta home. Detectives with the Cobb County Police Department quickly learned that Byrne, Moore’s long-time roommate and business partner, had recently moved out. Despite numerous interviews, Byrne continuously denied knowing anything about Moore’s murder. Ultimately, Johnathan Wheeler, a former bakery employee and Byrne’s mentee, was arrested for Moore’s brutal murder. Wheeler’s girlfriend later revealed that Byrne helped clean Moore’s blood from Wheeler after the murder and took possession of items Wheeler had stolen from Moore’s residence. Byrne profited from Moore’s death and acquired 100% interest in the Best Dang Bakery Around in Woodstock.

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In August 2018, Wheeler was tried for the murder of Moore. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after a Cobb County jury found him guilty of Malice Murder, Armed Robbery, and Burglary in the First Degree.

Shortly after Wheeler’s trial, Byrne was arrested for his involvement in the murder. While in custody, Byrne solicited another inmate to kill Wheeler, fearful that Wheeler may testify against him.Byrne’s plot was discovered. Prior to trial, Byrne decided to enter a guilty plea. During the plea, Byrne admitted to his role in the death of his partner, Jerry Moore, and his attempt to have Wheeler murdered.

“Despite having introduced Jerry Moore to his killer, this defendant showed absolutely no remorse for Johnathan Wheeler’s vicious killing.” said Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Green, who prosecuted both cases.

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