Bobby Buckner set to be released from prison Sunday

Bobby Buckner release date set for May

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A convicted criminal involved in a controversial case in Savannah will soon be walking the streets once again.

It's a story you may remember from years ago. Bobby Buckner was indicted, but never tried, in the 2003 disappearance and death of 12-year-old Ashleigh Moore.

Buckner is scheduled to be released from the Dooley State Prison on Sunday, May 15, after maxing out on a separate sentence from another case.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Buckner will have "maxed out" on a 20-year prison sentence from a rape case dating back to 1995, which is a case unrelated to the death of Ashleigh Moore.

To be clear, Buckner is not being paroled, and he will not have probation after getting out.

Let's take a look back at the history of this case:

  • March 1996- Buckner pled guilty to child molestation and statutory rape charges back in March of 1996. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Buckner served one year in prison and was released on probation.
  • April 2003- In April of 2003, 12-year-old Ashleigh Moore was reported missing. The last person to see her was her mom's live-in boyfriend, Bobby Buckner. Ashley's mother met Buckner while she was a corrections officer at the Chatham Co. Detention Center and he was serving time. A month later, Ashleigh's body was found.
  • April 2004- A year later, Buckner is sent to prison for violating his probation. He was arrested back when he reported Ashleigh missing, because he wasn't supposed to be in the presence of females under 16 without an adult present.
  • December 2007- Almost five years after Ashleigh's death, a Chatham County grand jury indicts Buckner on murder and kidnapping charges.
  • May 2012- Then, in May 2012, the case against Buckner was dismissed on the grounds that it violated his right to a speedy trial since Buckner was not indicted until five years after Ashleigh's death.

In that more recent 20 year sentence, Buckner was credited for time he served for that 1996 conviction.

The Department of Corrections has to release Buckner on Sunday for completing his sentence.

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