A married couple pleaded guilty to accessory charges Thursday in connection to the 2013 shooting death of a Ridgeville man, according to prosecutors.
Mary Grooms, 55, and Endsley Grooms, 68, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder for their involvement in the Feb. 1, 2013 slaying of Mary Grooms' stepfather, 64-year-old Jimmy Edwards.
The Grooms' were both originally charged with murder.
During a plea hearing in St. George, a judge sentenced the pair to seven years in prison and five years of probation.
Mary Grooms' son, Sonny Jones, 38, is charged with murder, accused of killing Edwards, Jones' charge is still pending.
Mary and Endsley Grooms learned immediately after the murder that Jones had killed Edwards and then they lied to law enforcement on multiple occasions over the next three weeks, according to 1st Circuit Deputy Solicitor Donald Sorenson.
Endsley Grooms also received the gun allegedly used to kill Edwards from Jones and disposed of it in a trash can several days later, Sorenson said.
Arrest affidavits stated that Jones snuck up behind Edwards, shot him in the head with a .25-caliber handgun, then took $44 from his pocket and a checkbook from his pickup truck.
For 12 years, Edwards and the three others lived together at 374 Ridge Road in Ridgeville.
Jones and Edwards argued at times, but the rest of the family stayed out of their way, Endsley Grooms said during an interview with The Post and Courier before the couple's arrest.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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