BRUNSWICK — After trying to withdraw her guilty plea last month, a Georgia woman has filed court papers saying she wants to stand by her plea and sentence in the molestation and slaying of a 6-year-old boy.
Peggy Edenfield, 62, said in a handwritten motion filed Monday in Glynn County Superior Court that a “misunderstanding concerning my sentence” caused her last month to ask a judge to void the plea deal she signed Sept. 1, which carried a 60-year prison term. In exchange, prosecutors dropped murder charges against her in the 2007 slaying of young Christopher Michael Barrios. A murder conviction would have carried an automatic life sentence.
Her defense attorney, Richard Allen, said Thursday he urged Edenfield to accept the guilty plea because it gives her a chance of someday being released on parole. He said she told him her sister pressured her to try to back out of the deal.
“When she filled out that guilty plea she looked me in the eye and was absolutely adamant, more than in any conversation we ever had, that that’s what she wanted to do,” Allen said. “And her sister was furious.”
Edenfield’s guilty plea came weeks before she was scheduled to stand trial for murder. Christopher was a neighbor whose father and grandmother lived in the same mobile home park as Edenfield’s family. Prosecutors say the woman’s husband and grown son molested the boy and choked him to death while she watched. His body was found in a bag by a roadside a week later.
Edenfield’s husband, David Edenfield, was convicted and sentenced to death in 2009. Their son, George Edenfield, has been deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Peggy Edenfield ended up pleading guilty but mentally retarded to charges of child molestation, false imprisonment, cruelty to children, concealing a death and tampering with evidence.
Edenfield on Sept. 23 filed a motion trying to withdraw her guilty plea. Citing her low IQ, Edenfield said she never understood the deal would result in her being sent to prison without a trial.
The judge filed no response before Edenfield said Monday she’d changed her mind and decided to stand by her guilty plea.