Day 2: Witnesses close to victims testify in Jeffrey Peacock trial

Day 2: Witness close to victims testifies in Jeffrey Peacock trial

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is from the May 18 6 p.m. airing of this story - “It was tough testimony for family and friends who heard about the findings of the autopsies. We want to warn you, some of what you may (read) could be disturbing. But it’s important to (read) the context of the testimony to understand the charges Peacock now faces.”

MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - The trial for Jeffrey Peacock, the man accused of killing five of his friends in May 2016, continued for the second day Tuesday morning.

[ Previous trial coverage: Day 1: Jeffrey Peacock trial begins ]

From the trial:

Since starting Tuesday morning, the state brought four witnesses before breaking for lunch.

Klay Luke, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) special agent, testified he arrived on the scene on May 16.

Luke said he and another agent sifted through the debris in the house to collect evidence. They used shovel and rakes and put certain debris in designated five gallon buckets.

The scene was protected by Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office deputies for 24 hours at a time until the GBI finished collecting evidence.

Guns, shell casings, and jewelry were found at the scene, according to Luke’s testimony.

The defense said bullets can explode in extremely hot temperatures and since the house was on fire, the defense argued that some of the bullets could have exploded because of the heat. Luke testified that was not true, but not to the extent if it were fired through a gun.

Mika Snypes testified she was a very close friend to the five victims and knew Peacock fairly well.

Snypes said Peacock once lived with the victims on Rossman Dairy Road, where the crimes are said to have happened. Snypes claimed Peacock was eventually kicked out for drug and alcohol abuse.

Peacock didn’t reconnect with the group until April 2016, according to Snypes’ testimony.

Snypes said on the weekend of May 15, 2016, everything seemed to be normal. She said she and the others were at the house on the night of May 14, 2016.

Snypes said Peacock took her home around midnight.

She said she hadn’t heard from anyone until 9:30 a.m. on May 15, when she was told there had been an accident.

After seeing Peacock at the house that night, Snypes said she didn’t see Peacock until after her second interview with the GBI.

When Snypes and a friend picked up Peacock from his dad’s, Peacock said his shoes got ruined in the fire. So, they went to Belk to get a new pair.

When Snypes was cross examined, the defense questioned the timing of when she said Peacock brought her home on May 14.

Ben Littleton, another friend of the victims, also testified.

Both Snypes and Littleton recalled the events that is said to have happened before law enforcement arrived to the house fire on May 15, 2016.

In each of their testimony, when the state asked similar questions, their responses were similar. Such as, why Peacock was no longer living at the Rossman Dairy Road house and what the five victims were generally doing on the weekend of May 15.

On the first day of the trial, the courtroom heard an audio recording of an interview with Peacock and a Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office investigator while at the scene.

In that interview, Peacock says he went to get breakfast for everyone on the morning of May 15, but no one wanted to go with him. Synpe and Littleton said the victims always did things in groups.

Mary Ann Croft, a forensic pathologist expert, testified on the findings of the autopsies of the five victims.

Croft said each victim suffered 100 percent burns to their body and some had more severe burns than others.

Croft said Jonathan Edwards’ body had signs of charring from the fire and some bones were burned; Alicia Norman’s hands and feet were charred away because of the fire; a majority of Norman’s facial bones were a total loss; and Jones Pidcock’s skull was exposed and sections of his brain were charred.

After each description, the courtroom was filled with sounds of sniffling coming from friends and family of the victims.

Croft testified none of the victims had soot in their lungs, meaning none of the victims were breathing during the fire.

During cross examination, Croft was asked if it could be determined who shot each victim and Croft said no.

The questioning ended after that.

Case background:

Peacock was arrested on May 19, 2016 and charged with murder and arson. Agents said the victims in the home, located on Rossman Dairy Road, were shot and the home was burned in an attempt to cover up the deaths.

Peacock was indicted on 14 charges in March 2017.

He was indicted on:

  • Five counts of malice murder
  • Five counts of possession of firearm during the commission of a felony
  • First degree arson
  • Three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals

WALB’s Paige Dauer is covering the trial and will provide updates as the trial progresses.

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