Man pleads guilty to killing Peach Co. deputies, sentenced to two life sentences

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The man accused of killing two Peach County Sheriff’s deputies pleaded guilty Thursday morning.

Ralph Stanley Elrod chose to plead guilty on all 9 counts, including 2 counts of malice murder, 2 counts of felony murder, and 5 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm upon 5 different officers.

Deputies say Elrod shot and killed Patrick Sondron and Daryl Smallwood in November 2016. Both officers responded to an argument between neighbors in Byron.

“We felt this was a death penalty case,” said Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese. “You can’t right one up better. It’s a textbook case.”

Judge Edgar Ennis accepted Elrod’s negotiated plea deal which sentences Elrod to life in prison without parole to be served consecutively, plus life in prison without parole, plus 100 years.

“If you take your emotions out and you look at the facts about how many people are affected by this and will be affected for the next possibly 20 years had the death penalty gone forward,” said Sheriff Deese.

“I pray this man never walks free again I want to be able to say to my child with confidence that the bad man will remain forever in prison until he meets Jesus for his real judgement,” said Renee Smallwood, Deputy Smallwood’s ex-wife.

Categories: Local News, Peach County, WMGT