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DA seeks death penalty for man accused of killing 2 Georgia deputies

A middle Georgia District Attorney said Thursday he will seek the death penalty against Ralph Stanley Elrod Jr., accused of killing two Peach County deputies.

“Those who intentionally take the lives of law enforcement officers who are peaceably and lawfully carrying out their sworn duty to protect the public should expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and to face the ultimate penalty,” DA David Cooke said.

Earlier this week, a grand jury indicted Elrod on multiple charges, including malice murder and felony murder, in the November deaths. Elrod, 57, allegedly shot both Deputy Daryl Smallwood and Sgt. Patrick Sondron at close range while the deputies were responding to a call regarding a dispute between neighbors.

Elrod appeared calm when the deputies confronted him, the GBI previous said. But when the deputies told Elrod he would be arrested for threatening to shoot a neighbor, Elrod pulled out a handgun from his waistband, GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said in November.

“The deputies were not on any kind of alert,” Ricketson said. “It appears to us that their guard was not up when they were confronting this guy.”

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Sondron, 41, a married father, died the same day at Medical Center of Peach County. Smallwood, 39, died two days later. He was also married father.

Elrod has been jailed without bond since his arrest the day after the shootings. The grand jury indicted him on two counts each of malice murder and felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and two counts of aggravated assault.

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