Savannah man sentenced to 2 life sentences plus 45 years in 2012 Labor Day double murder

Published: Aug. 17, 2016 at 5:46 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2016 at 7:11 PM EDT
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Victim: Emily Pickels
Victim: Emily Pickels
Victim: Michael Biancasino
Victim: Michael Biancasino
Scene of the double-murder on Sept. 3, 2012.
Scene of the double-murder on Sept. 3, 2012.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Walter Terry Moon was sentenced to two life sentences plus 45 years for the 2012 Labor Day double murder that claimed the lives of Michael Biancosino and Emily Pickels.

In the sentencing, Moon will not be able to seek parole.

Moon was found guilty of the double murder in June. He was convicted of 19 counts, including malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.

Moon was convicted of killing Emily Pickels and Michael Biancosino over Labor Day weekend nearly four years ago. The victims were found shot in a car that crashed into a brick wall surrounding Frazier Homes on MLK Boulevard.

Attorney Jamie Casino, Biancosino's brother, sent WTOC a copy of his witness impact statement read during the trial:

Dear Judge Freesemann, 

I decided not to be present today because I'm not sure if I would have been as clear in expressing my thoughts as if my statement was written and read to the Court. Therefore, in my absence and on behalf of my parents, the Pickel's family, Emily and Michael, and myself, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sound and fair decision making throughout this case and also for the years of service you've provided to our community. As a Superior Court Judge overseeing major crimes, you are almost always surrounded by evil. God bless you for your efforts that our society often overlooks. 

I also want to express my utmost appreciation to Isabel Pauley. This will be hard to do in words alone. For the years leading up to trial and then in the nearly two-week intense trial, I watched her fight relentlessly for justice for Emily and Michael and for the people of Chatham County. I watched her try a case against a vigorous defense that relied heavily and desperately on playing the race card, and despite the smoke and mirrors charade, she gained a unanimous guilty verdict from jurors young and old, black and white. After observing Isabel in this courtroom it quickly became apparent to me that being an assistant district attorney is not just a career for her, it's a calling. She has clearly become one of finest trial trial lawyers in Savannah if not all of Georgia. 

Last but not least, I want to thank Detective Puhala. From the time he came to my doorstep in September of 2012 notifying me of the homicides to the day the guilty verdict was rendered, he never lost focus or momentum in solving this case even despite the many setbacks SCMPD experienced in the department through the first several years of this case. He is exactly the type of hero and leader this crime riddled community needs.

As to my suggestion for sentencing, I will leave that up to you. I have full faith and confidence in your decision making, and Isabel has my highest level of respect in whatever recommendation she makes to the Court. The only point during the trial that I would like for you to recall in making your decision is a statement from one of the offers who testified at trial. The officer testified that "in all the years he has been an officer, he has never worked a crime scene like this before. He stated that " looked like a war zone." I believe this officer's statement speaks for itself on the malice behind the homicides of these two innocent people.

Proverbs 31:8 holds, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed." If you are a believer as I am, this Proverb is not a request from our God, it's a command, and I believe with all of me that you, Detective Puhala and Isabel have lived up to this Proverb throughout this entire case. Thank you all again for speaking up for and ensuring justice for Michael and Emily. It's clear God has and will continue to bless all of you.

With the utmost appreciation,

Jamie Casino

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