Pre-trial motions presented at hearing before Crocker case goes to trial

Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Will Elwyn Crocker face the death penalty in the case of two children who died in Effingham County? That’s the question his lawyers are asking.

During the hearing, Elwyn Crocker’s attorney said once this case goes to trial, it could last up to 5 weeks. Several pre-trial motions she discussed in this hearing revolved around the death penalty Crocker could face as he’s accused of killing his children Mary and Elwyn Crocker Jr.

One of the nearly two dozen motions was a request to dismiss the death penalty.

Crocker’s Attorney Jerilyn Bell asked that during jury selection for the upcoming trial, they don’t use quote “death qualification” on potential jurors. Meaning neither the defense nor prosecution can ask the jury pool if they could consider a sentence of death.

And once the jury is selected, Bell is asking that info in the indictment from 2019 be kept from the jury, saying it won’t make for a fair trial.

“It carries a certain gravity that this determination has already been made and that is not something they should be considering. At most, what a trial jury should be considering is that a grand jury has determined that there are sufficient charges to go forward,” said Jerilyn Bell, Crocker’s attorney.

The grand jury indicted Crocker with two counts of felony murder, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, and two counts of concealing the death of another.

Prosecuting Attorney Matt Breedon called the motion absurd.

“If this court doesn’t read the indictment to the jurors, how do they know what the charges are? If we don’t send them an indictment back to the jury room, how do they know which victim is in which count. How do they know what the element of the offenses are?”

Bell also asked the Judge to make the state tell the defense all their subpoenaed witnesses for trial. She said the last list they received of possible witnesses from the prosecution was from early 2020 and 73 people on it.

No decisions on motions were made. They are expected back in court on Friday.