Peach Co. officer shooting suspect told GBI agent: 'I just wanted to die'

New details emerge in Peach deputies' deaths

In Peach County court Monday, lawyers watched a video in which Ralph Elrod admitted to killing two deputies and said he just wanted to die.

Elrod is charged with shooting and killing Peach County Deputy Daryl Smallwood and Sergeant Patrick Sondron in November 2016. 

Nearly a dozen motions were discussed in court Monday morning.  

The defense filed a motion asking Judge Edgar Ennis to throw out a Nov. 7, 2016 video and live interview from the GBI as evidence.  

The full 38-minute interview was played in court. 

It showed Ralph Stanley Elrod speaking to GBI agent Blair Sasnett in the hospital one day after the shooting.

At first, he said, Elrod asked, "Did I kill those officers?"

Later, he said, he read Elrod his rights and the suspect signed a waiver form.

Elrod said it all started with two people riding ATVs on his property.    

Elrod said he told the pair that if they rode on his land again, "I'll kill you."

He said he believed the two called the police about him. He said he had drank about six beers.

Elrod said he told his wife to get out of the house and he armed himself. When the two deputies arrived, he said, he shot them.

In the video, Elrod says, he hoped the officers would shoot him: "I don't know, it just happened, I didn't want to go to jail."

Prosecutor Elizabeth Bobbitt said Elrod's entire statement should be evidence in the trial because Elrod was under arrest, had been read his rights and communicated well to investigators. 

Defense Attorney Nathaniel Studelska disagrees saying Investigators visited Elrod in the surgical trauma ICU, when he was not well enough to make any statements.

He said Elrod was in a neck brace and on an IV. He said Elrod could not hold the waiver form steady or hold the pen he used to sign it for long.

Judge Ennis has not ruled on that statement or on the other motions before him. The hearing continues Tuesday.

© 2018 WMAZ-TV


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