'You have stabbed your last victim': Man jailed over racial attack

A man has been sentenced to serve life plus 20 years in prison for the racially motivated slaying of a black man 35 years ago.

Timothy Coggins was stabbed 30 times and dragged behind a ute in a killing driven by racial hatred, witnesses said.

A judge ordered Frank Gebhardt, 60, from the US city of Georgia, to serve the sentence immediately after he was convicted on Tuesday on charges including murder in the killing of Mr Coggins, local news outlets report.

Frank Gebhardt enters the courtroom during his murder trial, charged with the racist slaying of a man in 1983. Source: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool

Prosecutors have said Mr Coggins was killed because he was dating a white woman. The case remained unsolved for decades.

The jury’s verdict, reached after about six hours of deliberation, was delivered amid heavy security in the courtroom, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“Hopefully, sir, you have stabbed your last victim,” Judge Fletcher Sams said as he sentenced Gebhardt.

An undated photo of Timothy Coggins who was stabbed 30 times in a killing driven by racial hatred. Source: Heather Coggins via AP

Gebhardt was stoic as the verdict was read, but members of Coggins’ family sobbed and hugged each other and prosecutor Marie Broder, the newspaper reported.

Gebhardt’s lawyer told the jury his client was “racist” and “mean” but he argued the state relied heavily on witnesses who are in custody and testified in hopes of lowering their own sentences.

But prosecutors countered that many of those witnesses relayed information that only the killer would know.