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Moretz trial set for November

POSTED: October 10, 2013 8:41 p.m.
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Kimberly Moretz

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A jury of eight women and four men was chosen Tuesday for the trial of an Effingham County woman accused of covering up a grisly murder committed by her husband.

Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Judge Gates Peed set Kimberly Moretz’s trial for Nov. 14-15 in superior court.

Moretz, 43, was indicted by an Effingham County grand jury in March on charges of concealing a death, tampering with evidence and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

She has pled not guilty to the charges.

Investigators believe her husband, Chad Moretz, brutally killed Charlie Ray, a Wilmington Island man who had Tourette’s syndrome, in January. Ray’s body was dismembered, with some parts of his body found inside the Moretzes’ Rincon home and other parts hidden in a storage unit in Jasper County, S.C.

According to investigators, Kimberly Moretz rented the storage unit and knew what was going to be placed inside.

A standoff ensued on Jan. 11 after officers went to the Moretzes’ house on Whitehall Avenue to ask if the couple knew of Ray’s whereabouts. Chad Moretz held his wife hostage for several hours, and he was shot and killed by a SWAT team sniper after he brandished an automatic rifle toward law enforcement officers.

Kimberly Moretz’s lawyer, Michael Schiavone, acknowledged Tuesday that "this case has received a lot of attention," and asked the pool of potential jurors what they knew about it. Several responded that they had seen media coverage, but few could recall many details other than a body having been dismembered.

However, three jurors were excused after saying their minds were already made up about the case and they could not be impartial. One man said he had seen Kimberly Moretz’s picture in the newspaper and read about "her hiding the body."

"Honestly, I think she did it — part of it, maybe not killing the person," he told Judge Peed.

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