Man pleads guilty to killing ex-girlfriend at Independence Day barbecue

MCDONOUGH, GA – A Barnesville man will spend life in prison for shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend at an Independence Day barbecue.

Raphael Kelley, 22, entered a guilty plea Monday in Henry County Superior Court to charges of malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

As part of the negotiated plea, Kelley was sentenced to life plus five years in prison.

“We are grateful to bring justice to the family of Ms. Moss without having to put them through the difficulty of testifying at trial,” District Attorney Darius Pattillo said.

Kelley shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Laci Moss, 23, following a disagreement at a barbecue at a home on Lobolly Ridge in Locust Grove on July 4, 2021. Kelley got into a disagreement with Moss and left the party. He later returned to the home and shot Moss six times in front of her mother and friends.

“I hope you see her face every day that you live out the rest of your life and think about what you’ve done,” Superior Court Judge Pandora E. Palmer told the defendant during sentencing. “If you had just walked away, we would not be here.”

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Sybil Price.



For media inquiries or Open Records Requests, contact:

Megan L. Matteucci

Assistant District Attorney and Public Information Officer
Henry County District Attorney’s Office