Money Crunch Delays Edenfield Murder Trial
BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The first trial resulting from the death of 6-year-old abducted, raped and killed in 2007 has been postponed until the next fiscal year because of a shortage of state funds to pay the expenses of the defense.
David Edenfield, his wife and his son are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Christopher Barrios Jr. Jury selection was scheduled for April 20, with the trial expected to begin two weeks later.
The Glynn County Superior Court Clerk's office told Channel 4 on Thursday that the first trial -- that of David Edenfield -- was pushed back to September to ensure that defense would have adequate state funding to pay for experts and investigators in the case.
The Office of Georgia Capital Defender is responsible for paying the legal bills for capital cases in the state. That department, like other state agencies, has been asked to cut 10 percent of its budget as part of state budget reductions.
Due to the high profile of the case resulting from a week-long, community-wide search for the missing boy, Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett last month granted a defense motion that a jury will be brought in from another part of Georgia.
Prosecutors said Barrios was kidnapped, molested and strangled in the Edenfields' trailer in a Glynn County mobile home park.
Due to the extensive media attention the case received, Scarlett ruled jurors from Jeff Davis County would be brought in to hear the case and would remain sequestered during the trial.
Edenfield's wife, Peggy, and their adult son, George Edenfield, face charges in Barrios' death.
George Edenfield, a convicted sex offender, lived in the same mobile home park as Barrios and across the street from his grandparents. Prosecutors said Edenfield and his father, David, sexually abused the boy while the mother watched.
Prosecutors said Peggy Edenfield has reached an agreement to testify against her husband and son in exchange for a possible life sentence.
David and George Edenfield could face the death penalty.
Earlier this year, Donald Dale pleaded guilty to making a false statement to police in connection with the case was remanded to a psychiatric facility for five years.
Prosecutors said Dale was not involved in the killing, but helped hide the body and lied to police during an extensive six-day search for Christopher before his body was found.
- February 5, 2009: First Trial In Boy's Slaying Set
- August 29, 2008: David Edenfield Wants Murder, Molesting Charges Dismissed
- June 26, 2008: Man Pleads Guilty To Charges Connected To 6-Year-Old's Slaying
- June 9, 2008: Trial Set For Man Accused Of Hiding Boy's Body
- June 5, 2008: Suspect In Boy's Slaying Withdraws Plea
- March 14, 2008: Mother Sues State, Trailer Park Over Son's Death
- August 15, 2007: Judge Rules On Defense Motions In Boy's Murder Case
- July 30, 2007: Boy's Accused Killer In Court For Hearing
- April 13, 2007: Molester, His Parents Charged In Christopher's 'Horrific' Slaying
- March 21, 2007: As Slain Boy's Viewing Begins, 3 Charged With Murder
- March 19, 2007: Child Molester Got Probation Days Before Slain Boy Vanished
- March 17, 2007: Community Copes After Boy's Search Ends In Tragedy
- March 16, 2007: Missing Boy Found Dead; 4 May Face Murder Charges
- March 15, 2007: Body Of Missing Brunswick Boy Found
- March 15, 2007: New Search, More Evidence, But No Sign Of Missing Boy
- March 15, 2007: Police Search Pond, Follow New Tips In Missing Boy Case
- March 14, 2007: 2nd Search Warrant Executed At Sex Offender's Home
- March 14, 2007: Sex Offender, Offender's Mother Arrested In Boy's Disappearance
- March 13, 2007: Police Search Sex Offender's Trailer In Hunt For Missing 6-Year-Old
- March 12, 2007: After 4 Days, Police Believe Georgia Boy Was Abducted
- March 11, 2007: $27,000 Reward Offered For Missing Georgia Boy
- March 10, 2007: Searchers, Family Determined To Find Missing 6-Year-Old
- March 9, 2007: After 24 Hours, No Sign Of Missing Georgia Boy
Copyright 2011 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.