A group who attended a "football moms" sleepover at a Cumming, GA home where a 40-year-old mother-of-5 was found dead say they fear for their safety after being publicly accused of murder.
Tamla Horsford was found dead in the backyard of a Forsyth County, GA home on Nov. 4, 2018 after partying and drinking with 10 women and 3 men at a slumber party the night before.
Banks Stubbs & McFarland attorney Eric Tatum filed a lawsuit on Monday, Feb. 25, on behalf of the homeowner, Jeanne Meyers, and seven people who attended the slumber party.
The lawsuit accuses Horsford's best friend, Michelle Wynne Graves, of making numerous statements on social media and across multiple sources that eight individuals were "responsible for the death and/or that they aided and abetted the murder" of Horsford.
The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office last week closed the investigation into Horsford's death after Horsford's case received national attention in the news media.
A medical examiner ruled Horsford's death was the result of an accidental fall from a residential deck. The coroner's report described Horsford's horrific injuries - including a broken neck and traumatic brain injuries - as consistent with a fall from a 10-15 foot elevation.
In the lawsuit Meyers et al v. Graves, Tatum claims his clients - homeowner Meyers, Nichole Lawson, Stacy Smith, Thomas Smith, Bridget Fuller, Marcy Hardin and Jose Barrera - have suffered "irreparable damage" to their character, reputation and business as a result of the statements allegedly made by Graves.
According to the Forsyth County News, the complaint lists 13 posts made by Graves on Facebook.com naming each of the plaintiffs and making various statements about Horsford's death.
"Defendant made these false statements maliciously with the intent to injure Plaintiffs by accusing Plaintiffs of committing murder and/or aiding and abetting the same, behaviors that are so repugnant, debased and immoral that it could exclude Plaintiffs from society," the complaint states. "Defendant’s intentions have been carried out, as some of the posts have been seen more than 100,000 times."
The lawsuits states that as a result of the widespread attention online, Graves' claims have caused the plaintiffs and their families to fear for their lives.
But Graves dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous in a statement to the Forsyth County News.
"I state nothing but factual information which was verified after reading case file obtained through open records," she said. "I stand strong behind my statement that these people know what happened, and if they were not directly involved, they have not come forward with the truth."
She also said similar complaints filed against her have been dismissed in lower courts.
Court records obtained by the Forsyth County News show that a temporary protective order filed by Jeanne Meyers against Graves was dismissed in November 2018.
"This is nothing more than another intimidation tactic on their part," Graves said in a message to the FCN. "These people caused this negative attention by having a party where someone lost their life."