Wife makes deal in boy's death

BRUNSWICK, Ga. --- Peggy Edenfield can escape the death penalty or life in prison without parole in the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr. if she testifies against her son and husband.

In an agreement approved by the victim's family, prosecutors will spare Ms. Edenfield's life to bolster their case against her husband, David Edenfield, 58, and their son, George Edenfield, 31, in the March 8 abduction and killing of the Glynn County kindergarten pupil, District Attorney Stephen Kelley said Tuesday. Both George and David Edenfield still face the death penalty if convicted of malice murder in the slaying.

"This will certainly strengthen our case against those who we believe actually committed Christopher's murder," Mr. Kelley told the Times-Union . "The Barrios family understands why this is being done, and they approved of withdrawing the death penalty for Peggy Edenfield. We wouldn't have done this without their agreement."

Ms. Edenfield, 57, will not receive immunity for her testimony and cooperation with investigators. She remains charged with malice murder and seven related charges stemming from the boy's death, court documents filed Tuesday showed.

She automatically will be sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole if convicted of malice murder in the case.

"She would have to serve at least 30 years in prison before she would become eligible for release," Mr. Kelley said.

Ms. Edenfield also has agreed to testify against family friend Donald Dale, 34, who is charged with helping dispose of Christopher's body.