Second murder warrant signed for accused killer of two Peach County sheriff’s deputies

DA: Shooter to be charged with murder in killing of 2 Peach deputies

Peach County Deputy Daryl Smallwood has died after being shot in line of duty, said Bibb County District Attorney David Cook.
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Peach County Deputy Daryl Smallwood has died after being shot in line of duty, said Bibb County District Attorney David Cook.

The man accused of killing two Peach County deputies and firing on Byron police officers remains under 24-hour armed guard at Medical Center, Navicent Health.

Ralph Stanley Elrod was shot in the abdomen Nov. 6 at his home on Hardison Road, where two Peach County sheriff’s deputies were fatally wounded while answering a call.

J.T. Ricketson, special agent in charge of the Perry office of the GBI, said a second murder warrant has been secured against Elrod after Deputy Daryl Smallwood died last week, days after Sgt. Patrick Sondron.

Authorities served the first warrant while Elrod was hospitalized, but are awaiting his release to serve the second warrant, Ricketson said.

“As of this morning, his condition has improved but he doesn’t have a release date,” he said Monday.

Elrod has been conscious and alert and has spoken to investigators, but Ricketson was not at liberty to share specifics of the conversation or any possible motive.

A pro-law enforcement sticker was on Elrod’s mailbox, most likely because his son is a Jones County deputy.

Once he is released, Elrod will be taken directly to the Peach County Sheriff’s Office, where he will be booked on charges and his mug shot taken, Ricketson said.

No picture of Elrod is currently available.

Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese, who spoke at funerals for both deputies last week, will decide where Elrod will be housed pending his release from the hospital.

Accused killers of law enforcement officers are normally held in another jurisdiction.

Deese called the shootings that shook the community the “biggest tragedy that’s ever hit Peach County.”

Hundreds of mourners gathered at North Peach Park for candlelight vigil for Peach County sheriff Sgt. Patrick Sondron and deputy Daryl Smallwood Tuesday night.

Last week, Ricketson was mulling the possibility of releasing surveillance videos of Elrod’s fatal encounter with the Peach County deputies and the shootout with Byron police, who answered the call for active shooter, officers down.

District Attorney David Cooke does not want anything released to the public at this time, Ricketson said.

“For the interest of our case, we made the decision to hold that,” Ricketson said.

Cooke sent out a statement confirming the second warrant, but declining further comment on the case.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines