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.

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