Forsyth Sheriff's Office

Justice for Tamla Horsford

JUSTICE FOR TAMLA HORSFORD forsyth county supreme justice

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – Channel 2 Action News has exclusively received the 911 calls made the morning a mother five was found dead in the backyard of a Forsyth County home.

Tamla Horsford died in November after a witness said he believed she fell off a balcony during an adult slumber party.

Tamla Horsford Forsyth county supreme justice

A source shared with Channel 2’s Mike Petchenikvideo that showed Horsford inside the home the night before her death.

 Petchenik first reported on her death last week after he learned court employee Jose Barrera was fired for accessing documents related to the case.

The party was held at Barrera’s girlfriend house and Barrera found Horsford lying face down in the backyard unresponsive, according to police reports.

Tamla Horsford forsyth county supreme justice

Barrera could be heard on the 911 calls that Petchenik obtained.

“She’s lying in the yard, basically on the patio downstairs.. She’s not moving one bit. She’s not breathing,” he told dispatchers.

Tamls Horsford fosyrth county supreme justice

“I’m noticing a small cut on her right wrist.  She’s not breathing whatsoever.  I don’t know if this cut was self-inflicted.”

The coroner’s death certificate listed Horsford’s death as an accident. The report said that a fall from a deck caused multiple blunt force injuries and “acute ethanol intoxication” was a contributing factor.

Tamla Horsford fosyth County supreme justice

But Michelle Graves says she believes something else happened to her best friend and the family hired another medical examiner who found extensive injuries all over her body.

“It’s impossible to get the injuries that she had from one fall,” she said.

Thousands on social media have called for further investigation into Horsford’s death with hashtags #TamlaHorsford and #JusticeForTamlaHorsford.

“We’re glad we’re not the only ones who feel there’s something awry with the story and with how she lost her life,” Graves told Petchenik.

Tamla Horsford fosyth County supreme justice

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said they just got back the toxicology reports this week and plan to have answers soon.

Petchenik obtained this statement from an attorney representing the homeowner:

At this time, our client, as well as each person who was present on November 4, 2018, has completely cooperated with law enforcement officers in attempting to give the family and friends answers with regards to the tragic death of Tamla Horsford. Every aspect of our client’s life has been investigated. She has provided answers to every question asked by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. Although the investigation has not been closed, to the best of our knowledge, Ms. Horsford’s death certificate has been issued by the Forsyth County Coroner.

Tamla Horsford fosyth County supreme justice

According to the Coroner, the official cause of death was determined to have been caused by an accidental fall from a residential deck. In addition, the Death Certificate also states that acute ethanol intoxication was a significant condition contributing to Mrs. Horsford’s death.

At this time, each of the partygoers and their families have received death threats on various social media postings. The threats need to stop. This tragic accident is exactly that, an accident. It is unfortunate, sad, and unbelievably heartbreaking to her family and friends. However, certain very vocal friends and family members of Mrs. Horsford have been describing this accident as a
“murder.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We are asking for the community and media to please respect the privacy and safety of our client and others who were at the party.

Mayor Joe Perkins said police interviewed 30 people including family, partygoers and friends regarding the incident. He noted the Forsyth County Coroner’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s report showed “no evidence or injury patterns indicative of an assault or foul play.”

A press release shared by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office further echoed Perkins’ sentiments by revealing detectives ruled Horsford’s death as accidental, resulting from a fall.

Michelle Graves, Horsford’s friend, believes her death was not an accident. The woman told the publication there is more to the story, stating the police are lying and “they’re not out of the woods.” She also noted the family hired a medical examiner who found injuries they believe occurred after she died.

As Blavity previously reported, Horsford was found facedown on the backyard patio. She was discovered by the homeowner’s boyfriend, Jose Barrera, who was fired from his county probation officer position after illegally accessing confidential documents related to the case.

“Even when she’s had the most she could have, she’s never ever fallen down,” Horsford’s sister-in-law, Terry Blanco, said in an interview. “We all know Tami and none of this makes sense.”

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