Canton father hoping for justice in sentencing of daughter’s stalker
by Joshua Sharpe
February 19, 2014 12:00 AM | 3777 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Donald Judson Moran
Donald Judson Moran
CANTON — John Thomas is hoping the court doesn’t do Donald Judson Moran any favors in March when the 27-year-old is sentenced for his actions in 2012 that turned Thomas’ Canton home into a bloody crime scene.

Moran, a Canton resident, is set to be sentenced March 7 following his conviction of stalking Thomases’ daughter, Kimberly Thomas, and stabbing her friend, Graham Royal, who was visiting her at the Thomas’ house in the Woodmont subdivision Nov. 19, 2012.

“He needs to be held accountable,” Thomas said of Moran, who his daughter, now 26, had dated prior to breaking it off before the incident. “I don’t trust his actions if he gets out early. He’s crossed the line of behavior.”

Moran was convicted Feb. 4 in Cherokee County Superior Court on all five charges against him, including stalking, burglary and aggravated assault, according to the Clerk of Court’s Office. Moran’s attorney, Drew Bishop, said he and his client, who was held in the county jail, had no comment prior to the sentencing.

The incident happened at the Thomases’ house off Lyndhurst Circle at about 1:30 a.m., when deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call and found 24-year-old Graham Royal stabbed multiple times in the face and back, reports show.

Thomas had been out of town that night, but said he remembers hearing about the blood Royal’s wounds left.

Royal was sent to the hospital and was in stable condition after the attack. Thomas said none of the punctures hit “anything vital” and he has recovered.

Before the incident, Thomas says Moran had shown signs of being obsessive toward his daughter, but he seemed harmless and no one worried about what might come next.

“It was a situation that seemed to just escalate over time,” Thomas said. “I don’t know if stalking in every case (was) the right word. In the very beginning, none of us took the guy very seriously.”

But Thomas said eventually Moran’s behavior became predatory and he had to tell him to leave his daughter alone and stop coming by the house.

Thomas said he and Kimberly still have trouble dealing with how the situation ended.

“Emotionally, she still struggles with it all,” he said. “Honestly, she carries in her mind at least that part of this is her problem.”

Thomas said his daughter wonders, “Did I not make it clear to him (where we stood)?” But her father assures: “Whether you think you were keeping D.J. on a string in your mind (or not), that’s no reason for the actions he took.”

Thomas said now that a jury has found Moran guilty on all counts, he, Kimberly and Royal can begin to move on, but the real healing will come from the court putting him behind bars for long enough to learn the error of his ways.

“I do hope, for the sake of everybody being able to get on with their lives, that he gets the sentence that he probably deserves,” he said. “I have a bad feeling this is not over in his life.”

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