SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WSAV) – Four defendants charged in the brutal deaths of two Effingham County children whose bodies were discovered buried behind their home were all arraigned Wednesday. The State now says it will seek the death penalty if the defendants are convicted.
The bodies of 14-year-old Mary Crocker and her brother, Elwyn Crocker Jr. were found buried in the back yard of their home in December of 2018.
It’s believed Mary died on or before October 28 of 2018 but that her brother may have died up to two years before his body was discovered.
The children’s father, Elwyn Crocker Sr., their stepmother, Candace Crocker and her mother, Kimberly Wright are each facing 13 charges in connection with the deaths which include malice and felony murder, locking the children in an animal crate, torturing the children and depriving them of food.
The three are also charged with one count of sexual battery pertaining to Mary Crocker. The charge indicates that the girl was penetrated with a foreign object. Other charges for these three defendants include false imprisonment and concealing the deaths of both children.
A fourth defendant, Mark Wright, the brother of the children’s stepmother is facing eight charges. He is charged with murder in Mary Crocker’s death but not of her brother. Mark Wright is also charged with one count of sexual battery as well as false imprisonment and concealing the deaths of both Mary and Elwyn Crocker, Jr.
The charges were read aloud in court for each defendant and all four entered a plea of not guilty.
A fifth defendant, Roy Prater (the boyfriend of Kimberly Wright) is also charged in the case but he is not facing the death penalty, so he was not arraigned Wednesday with the other four. He has already entered a plea.
Elwyn Crocker, Candace Crocker, Kimberly Wright and Mark Wright are all set to be back in court in early April.
- State to seek death penalty for 4 defendants in Crocker teen murders
- Bodies of two teens found in Effingham County; one missing for 2 years
- Mother of surviving child in Effingham Co. tragedy speaks out
- DFCS documents reveal prior history with Crocker teens found dead in Effingham
- Crocker bond hearing: Teen starved, tased, kept in kennel before murder
- Crocker teenagers remembered at memorial service
- Grand jury indicts 5 family members in Effingham teens deaths
- Five family members plead not guilty in deaths of Effingham County teens