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Two Crocker case defendants plead guilty
Candice Crocker.jpg
Candice Crocker
Roy Prater

SPRINGFIELD — Two people charged in one of the most notorious murder cases in Effingham County history entered guilty pleas Friday.

Candice Crocker and Roy Prater are two of five defendants facing charges in the deaths of siblings Mary Crocker and Elwyn Crocker Jr. The bodies of the teenagers were discovered in the backyard of their Azalea Point home in Guyton in December 2018.

Candice Crocker, the victims’ stepmother, was sentenced to life without parole. She had been facing the death penalty.

Prater pled guilty but hasn’t been sentenced. He is the boyfriend of fellow suspect Kimberly Wright, the victim’s step-grandmother, and wasn’t facing the death penalty. 

Candice Crocker and Prater, who pled not guilty in February, have agreed to testify against the other defendants, including Wright. The others are Elwyn Wright Sr., the victims’ biological father, and Michael Anthony Wright, Candice Crocker’s brother. 

The trio, accused of starving and beating the teenagers, is facing the death penalty. Charges against them include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated sexual battery, cruelty to children, concealing the death of another and false imprisonment.

Fourteen-year-old Mary Crocker had been missing since October 2018 when her body was discovered by Effingham County deputies. Elwyn Childs went missing in November 2016 when he was 14. His body was found at the same time.