SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WSAV) – Trials for three defendants facing death penalty charges in the murders of two Effingham County children are expected to take place early next year.
In 2018, the bodies of 14-year-old Mary Crocker and her brother Elwyn Crocker Jr. were found buried at their Guyton area home.
Prosecutors say Mary had been starved, tased and kept in a dog cage. Elwyn Jr. may have been buried there for up to two years before his body was found.
Thursday, Superior Court Judge F. Gates Peed met with attorneys and the three remaining defendants in an Effingham County courtroom.
The children’s own father Elwyn Crocker Sr. is facing 13 charges in connection with the murders.
His mother-in-law, Kimberly Wright, and her son, Mark Wright, are also facing charges.
Five defendants were originally charged after the children’s bodies were discovered. Roy Prather, the boyfriend of Kimberly Wright, quickly took a plea.
Then in October 2020, the children’s stepmother Candace Crocker did the same to avoid the death penalty. She pleaded guilty to eight charges, including murder, promising to testify against her husband, mother and brother.
The case has been delayed because of COVID-19 — and the fact that more than 200 motions have been filed.
Peed hopes to set a trial date for the first quarter of 2022, he said Thursday. When a trial date is set, he says Elwyn Crocker Sr. will be tried first.