A man in Cobb jail accused of murdering his former business partner has been indicted by a grand jury on additional charges in relation to the case.
Ross Allyson Byrne, 56, of Woodstock, has been in custody without bail in Cobb’s jail for the last 407 days, since his arrest in Woodstock by Cobb police on Aug. 30 last year, jail records show.
He was apprehended in connection with the brutal 2014 murder of his former business partner, Jerry Moore, 46, who was found stabbed to death inside his Marietta home.
Moore, stabbed 32 times, co-owned a Woodstock bakery with Byrne. The two had been roommates for several years but Byrne moved out just weeks before Moore’s murder. According to investigators, Moore wanted out of the business.
Byrne now faces one charge of malice murder and three counts of felony murder, as well as single charges each of conspiracy to conceal a death, conspiracy to hinder another person’s apprehension, criminal solicitation to commit murder and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, court records show.
A Cobb grand jury handed down these indictments on Oct. 3.
Byrne was first indicted on charges in relation to the case in 2018, but additional charges were since added.
Investigators said he conspired with a bakery employee, 35-year-old Johnathan Wheeler, to have Moore killed.
Wheeler was convicted of killing Moore in August 2018 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Byrne was a business mentor to Wheeler, who had previously spent a decade in state prison for crimes that included armed robbery with a knife, the Cobb District Attorney’s office confirmed at the time of Wheeler’s sentencing.
The night of Jan. 25, 2014, Wheeler drove to Moore’s Gracewood Drive home and entered with a key, according to investigators.
Upon encountering Moore, he launched an attack, stabbing him 32 times, including several times in the back. After leaving, he reportedly drove to Byrne’s new home, later confessing the murder to his cousin, with whom he was having a sexual relationship, prosecutors said.
There was no evidence Byrne assisted in the actual stabbing or that he was at the home when Moore was killed, the Cobb DA’s office said at the time of Byrne’s initial indictment.
The day after the murder, Wheeler and the cousin returned to the house and cleaned the scene before making off with some of Moore’s belongings, according to prosecutors. Among those items were a television, a safe, a computer and several other personal belongings.
Wheeler later confessed the killing to his brother and stepfather, who both testified against him at his trial.
At Wheeler’s sentencing, prosecutor Jesse Evans called the murder one of the worst crimes he had seen.
“This was a relentless, sustained, malicious attack by a cold-blooded killer,” Evans told jurors in his closing arguments as photos of the crime scene were displayed in the courtroom. “No human being should ever have this inflicted on them.”
Byrne’s racketeering charge stems from him allegedly scheming to take complete control of the business, called the Best Dang Bakery Around, which was located along Highway 92 near its intersection with Interstate 575.
Investigators say Moore managed the finances while Byrne operated the bakery.