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Moretz arraigned, enters not guilty plea

POSTED: April 22, 2013 8:36 p.m.
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Kim Moretz

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An Effingham County woman charged with concealing the death of a Wilmington Island man at her Westwood Heights home has pled not guilty to the charges brought against her.


Kim Moretz was arraigned Friday before Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Judge Gates Peed and entered a plea of not guilty to charges of concealing the death of another person, hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence. Moretz and her brother Kevin Lambert were indicted by an Effingham County grand jury March 18.


Moretz and Lambert are accused of concealing the death of Charles Ray III, a Wilmington Island man who had befriended Moretz and her husband, the late Chad Moretz. Chad Moretz was shot and killed by a Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department SWAT team sniper following a lengthy standoff at his house Jan. 11.


When officers finally entered the Moretzes’ house, they uncovered a grisly scene. Chad Moretz had stabbed Ray to death and had dismembered the body, with pieces of Ray’s body hidden in the home and other pieces taken to a storage unit in Hardeeville, S.C.


Authorities believe Moretz killed Ray, who had been diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, around Jan. 1. Ray’s family had reported him as missing.


Officers had approached the Moretzes’ home looking for Ray when Lambert answered the door and told them Chad Moretz said he would not be taken alive. Officers quickly removed Lambert from the house but could not get Kim Moretz out before her husband initiated a standoff.


Authorities were later able to get Kim Moretz out of the house, and Chad Moretz appeared on the front porch, brandishing an automatic weapon. SWAT snipers then shot and killed him.

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