Pre-trial hearings continue in Crocker case

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 3:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 3:51 PM EST
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Three of the people accused of killing two teens and burying them in their backyard are in court ahead of their trial.

Elwyn Crocker Sr., Mark Wright and Kim Wright are charged in the 2018 deaths of Crocker’s children - Mary and Elwyn Crocker Jr.

The two other people charged in this case pleaded guilty and will testify when it goes to trial.

All five adults are related to Mary and Elwyn Jr.

WTOC spoke to people outside of the courtroom who said they are family members of one or more of the defendants and they said they were frustrated by how long this case has taken to move forward. Inside the courtroom, we learned new details about the case and what’s next before the trial begins.

We’re learning for the first time Elwyn Crocker Sr. spent eight hours giving a statement to police after his children Mary and Elwyn Crocker Jr. were found dead in the backyard of their home. Defense attorneys say only four and a half hours of the statement was recorded. They agreed to give that recording to the Judge F. Gates Peed for review before the next hearing and discuss what wasn’t recorded.

Looking ahead in the case, the last of the roughly 10 pre-trial motions are expected to be heard at the end of March.

One of those motions from Crocker’s defense is to prevent his statement to police from being heard during trial and to conceal his past arrest warrants. State prosecutors filed a motion to present audio and video evidence when the trial comes.

It’s unclear when this case will go to trial, as Judge Peed mentioned another step in the process after pre-trial motions end.

“We’re looking at maybe the end of April to send this in for an interim review,” Judge Peed said.

State Prosecutor Matt Breedon said that review by a state supreme court can take months.

Both sides are also waiting on DNA evidence from the FBI.

Those pretrial motion hearings are tentatively set for March 23 and 24.