Crocker’s defense asks to block evidence claiming a violation of Miranda rights in pre-trial hearing

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The latest round of pre-trial hearings in the murder case of two Effingham County teenagers has wrapped up.

Elwyn Crocker Senior is charged with two counts of malice murder and two counts of felony murder in the deaths of his son Elwyn Crocker Junior and daughter Mary Crocker.

The bodies of the two teens were found buried in their family’s backyard back in 2018.

Crocker’s defense team is asking a judge to block evidence from searches and seizures of their client’s property claiming those were a violation of his Miranda rights.

They’re arguing that by the time members from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office read Crocker his Miranda rights, he had already confessed to concealing Mary’s death.

The defense says the warrant to search Crocker’s property came from information he gave before being read his Miranda rights.

“It cannot be used to justify getting a search warrant. It’s fruit of the poisonous tree. So at the very least, I think that the court has to exclude anything that they obtained during that December 20th search,” said defense attorney Samuel Wood.

Three members of the sheriff’s office testified Thursday that they did not detain Crocker at first and that he freely went in for a recorded interview.

They said while taking a smoke break during that interview, Crocker told them about Elwyn Jr. being buried 10 feet away from Mary.

That’s when sheriff’s office members say they read Crocker his Miranda rights and took him into custody…testifying that no evidence was obtained without a search warrant.

Prosecutors say all search warrants in the case fit with how previous cases in Georgia have worked.

“The entire interview is admissible. There’s no Miranda violation under Abbott here. He was not required to be Mirandized until he was in custody. And he wasn’t in custody until after that smoke break,” said prosecutor Matthew Breedon.

For his part, Crocker did not say anything during the two-day hearing.