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Online petition started to deny parole for Effingham woman in death and dismemberment

  • Kimberly Moretz

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition to deny parole for Kimberly Moretz, who was convicted of hiding the 2013 death and dismemberment of a Wilmington Island man.

Moretz was sentenced to 10 years in jail and five years of probation in the death of Charles Ray III, 35, who had Tourette syndrome.

“This person should not be allowed back on the streets prior to serving her full sentence,” Michael Groover of Savannah wrote in creating the change.org petition.

“Charlie and I went to high school together and I will never forget him,” Groover wrote. “He did not deserve to be manipulated and murdered.”

The petition includes a letter from Ray’s friend Charity Baker, who said she valued their friendship. “It made me a better human being,” she wrote. “It taught me tolerance and understanding. It taught me to stand by someone at their worst and take a step back and let them shine at their best.”

Moretz’ tentative parole month was September. The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles is conducting a final review and will determine whether to set parole and a release date, according to spokesman Steve Hayes.

Hayes said there is no time frame for the decision.

“The board maintains a comprehensive case file on each offender and will consider all information it has regarding a case when determining whether to parole an individual,” Hayes said. “Any information the board receives is available for the board members to review and consider.”

No hearing will be held. All decisions are made by the board members by individually reviewing the case and individually making their decision. A majority of the five board members is needed.

Moretz was sentenced to serve 10 years and she became eligible for parole when she served one-third of the sentence, which is three years and four months. She reached parole eligibility in January 2017.

So far she has served three years and nine months, Hayes said. Her “max out” or end of sentence is Sept. 6, 2023.

Moretz’ husband, Chad Moretz, took her hostage on Jan. 11, 2013, in their house in the Westwood Heights subdivision in the Rincon area. Chad Moretz was shot to death by a Savannah SWAT team member during an armed standoff with police.

When investigators entered the hostage scene at the Whitehall Avenue home, they discovered the partial remains of Ray. His torso and limbs were found in garbage bags in a rental storage unit rented by Kimberly Moretz in Jasper County, S.C.

Investigators believe Chad Moretz stabbed Ray to death in the kitchen of the Moretz residence.

Kimberly Moretz was convicted in February 2014 of concealing the death of another and hindering apprehension or punishment of a criminal.

The petition is at: http://bit.ly/2ybQyC5.

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