Man found guilty in death, molestation of boy, 6

Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 9:21 PM
Last updated 9:35 PM
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A jury deliberated for about two hours today before finding a Georgia man guilty of murder and child molestation in the death of a 6-year-old boy whose body was later found wrapped in trash bags and dumped near a road.

David Edenfield listens to Judge Stephen Scarlett after the jury's verdict of guilty was read in the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga. Edenfield, 61, was found guilty in the 2007 sexual assault and choking death of 6-year-old Christopher Barrios.  Associated Press
Associated Press
David Edenfield listens to Judge Stephen Scarlett after the jury's verdict of guilty was read in the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga. Edenfield, 61, was found guilty in the 2007 sexual assault and choking death of 6-year-old Christopher Barrios.

The jury convicted David Edenfield, 61, in the March 2007 sexual assault and choking death of young Christopher Michael Barrios.

The jury now must decide whether to sentence Edenfield to death or life in prison.

Edenfield is the first of three people to stand trial for the boy's slaying. His wife and grown son have also been charged with molesting and killing the boy, then hiding his body.

The sentencing phase of the trial began soon after the verdict, with Christopher's family telling jurors of the boy's smile — brightened by stainless-steel caps on his front teeth — and the grief that still lingers 2 1/2 years later.

"Sometimes you just want to die, or catch yourself looking for Christopher to come home as if it never happened," said Sue Rodriguez, Christopher's grandmother.

The boy lived in a Brunswick mobile home park where his father and grandmother had homes. He would pass the Edenfields' trailer when walking between them.

Because of pretrial publicity, the jury was selected from residents who live some 90 miles away, and the jurors were sequestered in Brunswick, 60 miles south of Savannah.

District Attorney Stephen Kelley, in his closing argument to the jury, described the slain kindergartner as a "precious blessing, thrown away in a trash bag."

"Why would anyone want to rape a child? Why would anyone murder a child?" Kelley said, sounding both close to tears and rage. "It tears the very fabric of my soul to shreds just thinking about those questions."

Kelley replayed for the jury portions of Edenfield's videotaped confession in which he described watching, along with his wife, as their grown son stripped the boy and molested him in their mobile home.

Defense Attorney James Yancey Jr. urged jurors not to assume Edenfield's confession was genuine. Edenfield, Yancey said, likely told police what they wanted to hear after investigators repeatedly assured him he'd done nothing wrong and wouldn't go to jail as long as he told the truth.

He described the defendant, who sat passively in the courtroom, as a man who worked long hours at a fast-food restaurant to support a wife and son, who left him feeling defeated.

He said Edenfield knew that his wife, Peggy Edenfield, was unfaithful to him and that their 34-year-old son, George Edenfield, was both mentally disabled and a convicted child molester whose behavior was beyond his father's control.

After the verdict, a forensic psychologist hired by Edenfield's attorneys told jurors that tests showed Edenfield to be "psychotic but technically competant to stand trial."

Dr. James E. Stark, whose testimony jurors would weigh during sentencing, said Edenfield showed symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and had a lower-than-average IQ.

"He's in poor touch with reality," Stark testified. "He may have hallucinations and some kinds of delusional thinking."

In an earlier police interview from March 2007, also shown to the jury, Edenfield acknowledged he had been charged with incest in 1994, when he was accused of having sex with an adult relative who was not his son.

Edenfield pleaded guilty to the charge, but in the police interview he denied wrongdoing. He said the relative was angry with him and made up the accusation.

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CyndiCk
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CyndiCk 10/05/09 - 09:40 pm
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Good, now don't let his butt

Good, now don't let his butt sit there for years on end if he gets death. Do it quickly and save the taxpayers some money.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 10/05/09 - 09:45 pm
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This guy's not going to last

This guy's not going to last long.

The Perfect Poster
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The Perfect Poster 10/05/09 - 09:57 pm
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My heart is sick.

My heart is sick.

Dell4
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Dell4 10/05/09 - 10:37 pm
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I hope he gets what is due

I hope he gets what is due him! Sick bastard.

cajunnana2000
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cajunnana2000 10/05/09 - 10:42 pm
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This is one of the sickest

This is one of the sickest stories I've ever read. The whole family has "poor touch with reality". Due to the storyline I will respect the boy's family and not say some things that I am thinking about the family that committed the crime. May they burn in hell!!!!!!!!

jasonpilgrim
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jasonpilgrim 10/05/09 - 10:57 pm
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This one boils my bllod.

This one boils my bllod.

APiratesLife4Me
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APiratesLife4Me 10/05/09 - 11:12 pm
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kill that sick f

kill that sick f already.........

ispy4u
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ispy4u 10/06/09 - 12:41 am
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MadMax ( Insert usual

MadMax ( Insert usual description)?

mable8
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mable8 10/06/09 - 05:11 am
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Edenfield may be

Edenfield may be schizophrenic, but he certainly knew what he was doing as did his wife and son. If he is so out of touch with reality, how was he able to work? I am tired of people who commit heinous crimes claim they were "mentally ill" at the time or have a "low IQ" in order to excuse themselves from accepting responsibility. One's IQ serves as an idicator of what knowledge the person has; it should not serve as an indicator for their capacity to commit a crime because that requires thinking skills. I am also not opposed to giving these folks the death penalty either--the rape and murder of a child deserves the punishment.

xanadu
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xanadu 10/06/09 - 06:00 am
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mable8: thank you. i agree

mable8: thank you. i agree totally. it is amazing how many excuses criminals come up with to explain their errant behavior and nasty deeds; what is even more amazing (and alarming) is how often these 'stories' are bought by the judicial system and juries, not to mention the skanky defense lawyers who play their word games and defend these PNGs.

xanadu
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xanadu 10/06/09 - 06:04 am
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by the way, a more fitting

by the way, a more fitting punishment for this PNG would be for him to get gang-raped, then hung, drawn and quartered, then stuffed into one of the plastic bags you get at the grocery store, then dump him along a road somewhere to rot. or better yet, hang him from a pole along a much-travelled highway with a sign saying: 'this is what happens to child rapers/killers/molesters'. what's the bible advise? an eye for eye, tooth for tooth, etc etc etc.

CobaltGeorge
164981
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CobaltGeorge 10/06/09 - 06:45 am
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There will be liberal minds

There will be liberal minds on the jury panel. What should take less time than a full cup of coffee to come to the only verdict, due to some feel sorry minds, this nonhuman may just become the ward of the TAX Payers.

wise
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wise 10/06/09 - 07:16 am
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How could you just sit a

How could you just sit a watch something like that?? I hope he gets the death penlty so others can watch him die as well but first the need to let a 500 pound man rape him.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 10/06/09 - 07:45 am
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I hope all three get the

I hope all three get the death penalty. they are all sick wicked animals who deserve just what they did to that precious little boy. Hopefully they will all be raped and tortured before they make it to the electric chair.

thankgodforaugusta
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thankgodforaugusta 10/06/09 - 08:02 am
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death penalty what a joke

death penalty what a joke anyone who gets the death penalty after about 40 will die of old age long before they are put to death what a great system we have

1941
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1941 10/06/09 - 08:05 am
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Cobalt; What do beign a

Cobalt; What do beign a ''liberal'' have to do with, what was done to this child? Anyone who has a ''mind'' would vote for the death penalty!!Lets not play politics, with the terriable way this child died!!

CobaltGeorge
164981
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CobaltGeorge 10/06/09 - 08:25 am
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1941, Have you ever served on

1941, Have you ever served on a death penalty case. There will always be that "liberal" (Democrat/Republican) minded individual that does not believe in the death penalty. There is no doubt that all three involved need to be slowly executed (real slow) within the next 30 days! I have been there and have felt it. That dead boy deserves every ounce of justice available

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 10/06/09 - 08:53 am
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There isn't a fire in hell

There isn't a fire in hell that is hot enough for this man. He should be put in a cell with a bunch of prisoners who have full blown AIDS and allow them to repeatedly rape and sodomize him.

CobaltGeorge
164981
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CobaltGeorge 10/06/09 - 08:58 am
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Lets not forget the other

Lets not forget the other two.

change display name
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change display name 10/06/09 - 09:06 am
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Keep the "mentally ill"

Keep the "mentally ill" defense! I plan on using it if I have to kill someone for messing with any child in my family.

butler123
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butler123 10/06/09 - 12:57 pm
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We need to go back to the

We need to go back to the days of hard labor. I knew someone who spent most of his adult life in prison. He said the worst thing about prison was not getting to eat what you want , when you want. Know wonder repeat offenders don't mind going back. And no telling how many times they commit crimes before they actually get caught and sent back. We need to make a prison a place people don't want to go.

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