Teen accused of taking part in double homicide denied bond

A teen drawn into an alleged murder plot that left two men dead was denied bond Thursday.

 

Richmond County Superior Court Judge J. Wade Padgett said he would not reconsider the issue until the remains of 28-year-old Preston Overton are found.

Emily Stephens, 17, was initially only charged with tampering with evidence after the bullet ridden body of 27-year-old Chad Garner was found and investigators learned he was the last person seen with Overton on June 8. Garner’s body was found June 11 in a shed on Peach Orchard Road.

The homicide investigation soon focused on William J. Krepps,28 , whose family owns the property where Garner’s body was found, and Vaughn A. Verdi, 23. According to statements at previous court hearings, Overton last spoke his girlfriend the night of June 8 when he was taking his friend to meet with Krepps and Verdi at Stephens’ home.

Blood-stained clothing last worn by the victims was found at Verdi’s home. Stephens told investigators that she burned Krepps clothes at his request, but she kept his boots which had blood stains on them.

The vehicle Overton was driving, a 2014 Dodge Journey which belongs to his girlfriend, was found on Tybee Island, Ga., on June 10. It had been washed with bleach, according to statements at earlier court hearings.

Stephens’ defense attorney, Jesse Owen, asked the judge to set bond for the teen, who had been attending school and had never been in legal trouble . Stephens’ father, Joshua Bennett, also asked the judge to set bond, promising she would be under constant supervision. Stephens admitted she burned Krepps’ clothing but she thought he wanted it done because he had stolen the Dodge Journey, Bennett said. She never left the house that night, he said.

But District Attorney Natalie Paine argued that Stephens could be a danger to further tamper with evidence in the case, especially since Overton’s remains have not been found.

Overton’s mother, Donna Overton, also asked the judge not to set bond. It’s been seven months and his family still doesn’t know where he is. There are people who know but they refused to tell investigators what happened, she said.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com

 

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Fri, 01/19/2018 - 21:23

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