An out-of-circuit case with local ties made statewide news this past week when Dick Perryman, district attorney of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit, announced he would seek the death penalty for the two men alleged to have killed three people, two of whom have ties to Emanuel, two years ago. The announcement came Wednesday, February 3.
Jonathan Vann, 22, and Keyante Greene, 27, were both indicted on malice and felony murder charges in connection to the 2019 death of Mercedes Hackle.
In addition to the murder charges, the codefendants were indicted on kidnapping, burning the victim’s body to conceal her death, and tampering with evidence to cover up their crimes and aggravated battery.
Vann and Greene are also charged in connection to the deaths of Ronnie Hackle Jr., brother of the aforementioned victim, and Bobbielynn Moore. Those charges are filed in Atkinson County and had not been presented to a grand jury as of last week.
According to the investigation, the Hackle siblings as well as Moore were all reported missing March 11, 2019. Law enforcement agencies in the southwestern part of the state began searching for the three individuals, and through this search, Moore’s car was found burned near the Willacoochee River in Atkinson County.
All three bodies were found on March 15, 2019. Wayne Hackle and Moore’s bodies were found in Atkinson, whereas Mercedes Hackle’s body was found in Berrien.
On March 15, 2019, Vann, 20 at the time, was charged with malice murder in all three deaths while Greene was charged with concealing those deaths.
According to arrest reports on March 23, Vann and Greene may have lived together in Berrien County. Their exact relationship is still unknown, but the same home is steps away from where tire tracks led investigators to Moore’s car. By March 28, Greene’s charges were altered to include malice murder as well.
The two have remained in jail since their arrest, although Vann petitioned in February 2020 for a bond hearing. The issue of bond has not been addressed yet.
The Hackle siblings have family in the Emanuel County area. Both attended Swainsboro High School as well as Toombs County High School.
Look for updates on this case’s movement in future editions of The Chronicle.