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Thread: David Homer Edenfield - Georgia Death Row

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    David Homer Edenfield - Georgia Death Row






    Summary of Offense:

    Convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of six-year-old Christopher Barrios. Barrios disappeared from his neighborhood outside of Brunswick in March 2007. Authorities found his body in a garbage bag a few miles from his home a week later. Edenfield, his wife, Peggy, and their son, George, all lived next door to where Christopher lived with his father. All three Edenfields faced charges in the case. George Edenfield is a convicted child molester. Peggy Edenfield testified against her husband and was tried last in exchange for testifying. As part of the deal, she could not receive the death penalty. During his closing, District Attorney Stephen Kelley referenced Edenfield's past as a cook for many years in the Brunswick area. "He can take orders from a cook in a kitchen and perform it well, but he cannot heed to the pleas of a six-year-old boy being tortured. What kind of man is David Edenfield?"

    David Edenfield was sentenced to death on October 6, 2009.

    Peggy Edenfield was sentenced to 60 years in prison on September 1, 2011.

    George Edenfield has been civilly committed and is currently considered incompetent to stand trial.

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    October 8, 2009

    Ga. man ordered to die in boy's molestation, death

    A Georgia man was sentenced to death Tuesday for molesting and strangling a 6-year-old boy inside a mobile home before the child's body was wrapped in trash bags and dumped near a road.

    Jurors deliberated two hours before unanimously agreeing on a death sentence for 61-year-old David Edenfield. He was convicted Monday of aggravated child molestation and murder in the March 2007 slaying of Christopher Michael Barrios.

    Edenfield stood passively as the judge read his sentence, and the victim's family silently dabbed at tears.

    Edenfield was the first of three family members to stand trial in the case. His wife and their 34-year-son have also been charged with abducting, molesting and killing the boy.

    "He got his justice - Christopher got it today," said Sue Rodriguez, the boy's grandmother, smiling through tears. "Now we've got two more to go."

    Christopher went missing March 8, 2007, from the Brunswick mobile home park where his father and grandmother both had homes. His body was found a week later by a roadside, wrapped in trash bags.

    Edenfield's family had moved into a home across the street from Christopher's grandmother four months earlier. Police found one of Christopher's toys, a Star Wars lightsaber, in Edenfield's front yard. Edenfield's grown son, George Edenfield, was a convicted child molester.

    The elder Edenfield confessed to the crime in a videotaped interview with a police detective the day after the boy's body was found.

    On the tape, Edenfield said he and his son molested the boy inside their home while his wife, Peggy Edenfield, watched. He said Christopher pleaded with them to stop and threatened to tell his father and grandmother, prompting Edenfield's son to begin choking the boy.

    Edenfield told police he placed his own hands on top of his son's as Christopher choked to death.

    "Fortunately for us, they had that confession," said Mike Barrios, the boy's father, who had listened stoically to a week of grisly trial testimony. "Christopher's up in heaven. He's smiling down now."

    Before jurors began deliberating Edenfield's sentence, his defense lawyers urged them to consider mercy. The attorneys accused George Edenfield of instigating the boy's abduction and killing.

    "David Homer Edenfield is going to die in prison, that's a fact," defense attorney John Beall told the jury. "Here's another fact. This beautiful little boy was murdered and will never come back."

    Beall and James Yancey Jr., Edenfield's other lawyer, did not speak to reporters after sentencing.

    In a fiery argument, District Attorney Stephen Kelley asked the jury to sentence Edenfield to die, saying "maybe he's just rotten from the inside out. ... And his words on that tape were, 'It felt good.'"

    The judge halted the prosecutor's heated presentation when Kelley pointed at Edenfield and called him an "animal." Edenfield's attorneys asked for a mistrial based on the outburst, but Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett denied the motion.

    Because of pretrial publicity, the jury was drawn from a community 90 miles away, and the jurors were sequestered during the weeklong trial in Brunswick, 60 miles south of Savannah.

    George Edenfield, who is mentally retarded according to his father, is still being evaluated to determine if he's competent to stand trial. Peggy Edenfield would be tried last, according to deal in which prosecutors agreed to spare her from the death penalty if she testified against her husband and son.

    Kelley declined to say much about those pending cases Tuesday.

    "We've still got a lot of work to do," he said.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/641/story/1664928.html

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    March 21, 2010

    David Edenfield's lawyer wants to withdraw from handling appeal in Barrios slaying

    BRUNSWICK - One of David Edenfield's lawyers told a judge Friday he cannot continue representing him as he appeals his murder conviction and death sentence for the slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr.

    The court left it to Edenfield to decide whether he wants to keep one or both of his defense lawyers or to replace them both.

    John Beall IV said he must withdraw because he expects co-counsel James Yancey Jr. to argue that Edenfield received an inadequate and ineffective defense because of insufficient state funding from Beall's boss at the Georgia Public Defenders Standards Council.

    Because he works directly for the statewide council, which provides lawyers and funds to represent indigent defendants in death penalty cases, Beall asserted he has a direct conflict of interest. He said Yancey would call council director Mack Crawford as a witness.

    "This puts me in the difficult position of attacking my employer," Beall told Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett. "It's asking an employee of the state to attack the state. It's a direct conflict of interest."

    Beall raised the issue during a hearing Scarlett scheduled to hear legal arguments about Edenfield's motion for a new trial. His request to withdraw was the only matter discussed during the hearing, which will reconvene on Wednesday.

    Saying the case will go on 10 years, Beall said he didn't know if Yancey would raise the ineffective assistance of counsel issue against him.

    Beall, however, assured Scarlett that if Edenfield and Yancey want him to remain on his appeal then "I would do the best I could" to represent him.

    District Attorney Stephen Kelley told Scarlett there was no conflict of interest because both Beall and Yancey are paid with state money "by Mr. Crawford who approves Mr. Yancey's bills" for representing Edenfield.

    Edenfield replied "Not really," when Scarlett asked if he understood the issue. After explaining the situation, Scarlett told Edenfield he had three options.

    "Mr. Edenfield, it's your decision and you can, No. 1, keep Mr. Beall, No. 2, remove Mr. Beall, or No. 3, ask the court to remove both Mr. Yancey and Mr. Beall and replace them with new lawyers for your appeal," Scarlett said.

    Scarlett also told Edenfield the court would send an independent lawyer experienced in death penalty cases to explain his options.

    Edenfield told Scarlett he wanted to talk first with Yancey before deciding.

    Edenfield, 61, was the first of three family members to stand trial for murder in the killing. Christopher had been playing outside at Canal Mobile Home Park on March 8, 2007, when he disappeared. Police recovered his body one week later wrapped in black plastic garbage bags and dumped in woods about two miles from the park.

    No trial dates have been set for Edenfield's 58-year-old wife, Peggy, or the couple's son, George, a 34-year-old convicted child molester, who also are charged in the killing.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia...appeal_in_barr

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    June 25, 2010

    Edenfield seeks new trial in Barrios sex abuse slaying

    BRUNSWICK - Lawyers for David Edenfield say the condemned killer deserves a new trial in the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Barrios Jr. because the lead prosecutor called him "an animal" while arguing that jurors should impose the death penalty.

    James Yancey Jr. told Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett he erred by refusing to grant a mistrial immediately after District Attorney Stephen Kelley blurted out the remark during his closing argument last October.

    At that time, Scarlett instructed the jury to disregard the comment. Kelley also immediately apologized to Edenfield, the jury and the court for the remark.

    That wasn't good enough, Yancey asserted Thursday during a hearing conducted by Scarlett on several defense motions seeking a new trial.

    "We contend it inflamed the jury. It was an outrageous argument intended to inflame the jury against Mr. Edenfield. Given the evidence before them, the jury was infected by that statement," Yancey said.

    Special Assistant District Attorney John B. Johnson argued the comment was not improper under state law. He cited four unrelated cases in which prosecutors described a defendant in similar or worse terms such as "a mad dog."

    "What was done was not error. The district attorney has the right to argue the facts in evidence and beyond that, the conclusions of that evidence," Johnson said.

    Johnson also said, if there had been an error, it was a harmless one that was immediately corrected by the court's instruction to jurors to disregard it, and by Kelley's apology.

    Yancey and co-counsel John Beall IV also said Edenfield was denied a right to a fair trial because the case was tried in Brunswick although the jury was empaneled in Hazlehurst, about 87 miles away in the northernmost part of the five-county judicial circuit.

    They contend the jurors were prejudiced by pretrial publicity including news media coverage of the jury selection process. In addition, Glynn County police violated Edenfield's right against self-incrimination and tricked him into implicating himself in the killing, Yancey argued.

    Johnson replied that Scarlett previously had heard those issues and ruled against the defense. There is no evidence any of the jurors had been interviewed by the media before being selected for the panel, he said.

    Yancey then sought to have the hearing closed to the public, media and prosecution. He wanted to present testimony and arguments in private that "the court erred in allowing Edenfield to go to trial with insufficient financial resources" to provide an adequate defense.

    Scarlett refused to close the hearing, saying he already had heard evidence on that issue and reviewed the defense funding during a June 4 closed hearing.

    "Everything requested by the defense as to funding was provided," Scarlett said, reaffirming his previous ruling on the matter.

    Scarlett did not say when he would rule on the motion for a new trial. After the hearing, Johnson estimated Scarlett could rule within two weeks.

    Edenfield showed no emotion but occasionally whispered to Yancey and Beall during the two-hour hearing.

    Edenfield, 61, was the first of three family members to stand trial for murder in the killing. In October, the jury found him guilty of malice murder and seven other charges in the kindergartner's 2007 abduction and death and then imposed the death penalty.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia...-abuse-slaying

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    Judge denies Edenfield new trial in Barrios slaying

    BRUNSWICK — A Glynn County judge has denied condemned killer David Edenfield’s motion for a new trial in the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr. three years ago.

    Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett ruled that Edenfield had received a fair trial. Scarlett deemed “without merit” assertions by Edenfield that he deserved a new trial in part because then-District Attorney Stephen Kelley called him “an animal” while arguing the jury should impose the death sentence.

    “While this was an unfortunate statement made during the heat of argument, for which [Kelley] apologized, it is not a ground for a new trial … The denial of the defendant’s motion for a mistrial on this ground was not an error,” said Scarlett, who had immediately instructed the jury to disregard Kelley’s comment.

    Scarlett also rejected Edenfield claim that Glynn County police had tricked him into confessing. In addition, there was no evidence that police questioned Edenfield after he invoked his right to have a lawyer present, Scarlett said in a nine-page order today.

    Christopher disappeared while playing outside at Canal Mobile Home Park on March 8, 2007. Police recovered his body one week later stuffed inside black plastic garbage bags and dumped in woods about two miles from the park.

    Edenfield, 61, was the first of three family members to stand trial in the kindergartener’s slaying. Last October, an imported jury found him guilty of malice murder and seven other charges in Christopher’s killing and then imposed the death penalty.

    The motion for a new trial was the first in what is expected to be years of appeals by Edenfield, who recently was transferred to Georgia’s Death Row from the Glynn County Detention Center.

    Edenfield, his wife, Peggy, and their son, George, who is a convicted child molester, were neighbors of Christopher. All three Edenfields were charged with his murder.

    No trial dates have been set for Peggy or George Edenfield.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2...arrios-slaying

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    Judge To Discuss Sentence In Boy's Killing

    Peggy Edenfield Testified Against Husband In Assault, Slaying Of Christopher Barrios

    A woman who testified against her husband and was prepared to do the same against her son on charges they abducted, assaulted and killed a 6-year-old Brunswick boy is meeting with the judge today about her pending case.

    Peggy Edenfield, who was offered a plea agreement to her role in the 2007 death of Christopher Barrios, is scheduled at a status hearing with Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett.

    Edenfield, her husband, David, and adult son, George, were all charged with rape and murder after Christopher's naked body was found stuffed in a garbage bag in March 2007.

    David Edenfield, 62, was convicted and sentenced to death in October 2009. George Edenfield was found incompetent to stand trial last summer.

    According to an agreement Peggy Edenfield signed in November 2007, the state would remove the death penalty and would not seek live in prison without parole as options in her case if she agreed to testify against her husband and son and tell investigators what happened to Christopher's clothes.

    http://www.news4jax.com/news/26858287/detail.html

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    Murder Suspect Rejects Plea Deal

    She had made a plea deal, now a woman accused in the brutal killing of a Brunswick boy has decided to stand trial.

    Peggy Edenfield is charged with the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of six-year-old Christopher Barrios.

    Mrs. Edenfield already testified against her husband David in his murder trial, and had agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the state not seeking the death penalty against her.

    Now she has withdrawn that plea, and will now stand trial.

    The prosecution is not expected to seek the death penalty.

    David Edenfield was convicted and sentenced to death back in October of 2009.

    Last summer, the court found that Peggy and David's son, George Edenfield, was incompetent, and couldn't stand trial for his role in the crime.

    http://www2.wsav.com/news/2011/feb/1...al-ar-1464220/

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    Peggy Edenfield's trial in Christopher Barrios slaying moved to Valdosta

    BRUNSWICK — A judge has moved Peggy Edenfield's murder trial in the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr. to Valdosta.

    Jury selection will begin Sept. 26 at the Lowndes County Courthouse, Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett said in an order filed late Tuesday.

    Scarlett granted a change of venue requested by Edenfield's lawyer, who asserted his 59-year-old client could not receive a fair trial in Brunswick because of extensive pre-trial publicity about the 2007 murder case.

    District Attorney Jackie Johnson agreed to the change of venue.

    Johnson and Edenfield's defense lawyer, Richard Allen, have declined comment about the issue.

    Edenfield faces a life sentence if convicted of murdering the Brunswick kindergartener. Her trial is expected to last about a week.

    Christopher disappeared while playing outside at Canal Mobile Home Park on March 8, 2007.

    Police recovered his body a week later inside a black plastic garbage bags in woods about two miles from the park.

    Edenfield, her husband, David, and their son, George, a convicted child molester, were neighbors of Christopher. All three were charged with his murder.

    David Edenfield, 61, is on Georgia's Death Row after a jury found him guilty of malice murder in October 2009. He is appealing his conviction and death sentence.

    George Edenfield remains in a state mental hospital undergoing treatment until psychologists determine he is competent to stand trial.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2...#ixzz1TJdeoHRT

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    Peggy Edenfield reindicted in Christopher Barrios slaying

    A Glynn County grand jury has reindicted Peggy Edenfield in the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr. four years ago.

    The new indictment Wednesday charges her individually with two counts of felony murder, two counts of child molestation and single counts of false imprisonment, first-degree cruelty to children, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another.

    "The indictment tailors the charges to what the evidence shows her role was in the case," District Attorney Jackie Johnson told the Times-Union on Thursday.

    Edenfield now faces two counts of felony murder instead of a single malice murder count in the abduction, molestation and strangulation of the Brunswick kindergarten student.

    In Georgia, both felony and malice murder are punishable by an automatic life sentence with eligibility for parole.

    Johnson said reindictment won't delay Edenfield's trial, which is set to begin Sept. 26 in Valdosta, about 120 miles west of Brunswick.

    The first felony murder count charges Edenfield with causing the boy's death by encouraging or helping her husband, David, and their son, George, sodomize and choke him.

    She is charged in the second count with causing his death by keeping him against his will inside the Edenfield home while he was molested and killed, the new indictment shows.

    Christopher disappeared while playing outside at Canal Mobile Home Park on March 8, 2007. Police recovered his body a week later inside black plastic garbage bags in woods about two miles from the park. The three Edenfields were the boy's neighbors.

    A previous grand jury indicted all three Edenfields on single counts of malice murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, enticing a child for indecent purposes, false imprisonment, first-degree cruelty to children, child molestation, concealing the death of another person and tampering with evidence.

    George and David Edenfield also were charged with two counts of aggravated child molestation in that March 2007 indictment.

    David Edenfield is on Georgia's Death Row after a jury found him guilty of malice murder in October 2009. A convicted child molester, George Edenfield remains in a state mental hospital undergoing treatment until psychologists determine he is competent to stand trial.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia...#ixzz1VTJJdOQ2

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    Peggy Edenfield nears trial in Barrios sex abuse slaying

    Peggy Edenfield will go before a judge today in what might be the last hearing before she stands trial on murder charges in the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr.

    Edenfield's lawyer, Richard Allen, is expected to ask Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett to throw out her statements to Glynn County police about the Brunswick kindergartner's disappearance and death four years ago.

    Allen also is likely to argue that other potential prosecution evidence should be banned from her trial. Edenfield's mental capacity also may be raised during the hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Glynn County courthouse.

    Edenfield is scheduled to stand trial beginning Sept. 26 in Valdosta, about 120 miles west of the scene of Christopher's death.

    She faces two counts of felony murder, two counts of child molestation and single counts of false imprisonment, first-degree cruelty to children, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another.

    The first felony murder count charges her with causing Christopher's death by encouraging or helping her husband, David, and their son, George, sodomize and choke him.

    In the second count, Edenfield is charged causing his death by keeping him inside the Edenfield home while he was molested and killed.

    In Georgia, felony murder is punishable by an automatic life sentence with eligibility for parole.

    Christopher disappeared while playing outside at Canal Mobile Home Park on March 8, 2007. Police recovered his body a week later inside black plastic garbage bags in woods about two miles from the park.

    The three Edenfields were the boy's neighbors.

    David Edenfield has been on Georgia's Death Row since shortly after a jury found him guilty of malice murder in October 2009. A convicted child molester, George Edenfield, remains in a state mental hospital undergoing treatment until psychologists determine he is competent to stand trial.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2...#ixzz1Wgw0nGrO

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