Major Developments in Harris County Double Murder

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail

HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -  A trial date had been tentatively set for the end of this month for the murder of Jerry and Sherlene Church.

But today, the case took a major turn as four out of the five men indicted for the crime accepted deals with the state.

The couple was found brutally murdered in their Melody Lakes home last June.

Police say four young men went to their house to rob them and ended up murdering them and taking their cars and credit cards.

Today, twenty-one-year-old Kevin McKay and nineteen-year-old Dereck Cox plead guilty to malice murder and robbery by force, receiving life sentences plus twenty years in prison.

And seventeen-year-old Richard Strickland and thirteen-year-old Gage Bryant have been sentenced to twenty years in prison plus twenty and fifteen years on probation on charges of robbery by force.

Officials say as it stands now, the general rule for anyone serving a life sentence is that they spend 26 years in jail before becoming eligible for parole.

And for the juveniles serving twenty years in prison, they will need to serve ninety percent of their sentences before they are eligible for parole.

However, that is subject to change based on the decisions of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

There is a fifth person indicted in the case- Joshua Pound.

Police say he and two of the others went back to the Church's home after they were murdered and stole $36,000 stepping over their bodies in the process.

Pound will enter plea negotiations next week.