Affidavit: Family killed Ridgeville man, misled investigators

RAW VIDEO: Family denies murder charge in bond court
Mary Grooms, Endsley Grooms, and Sonny Jones.
Mary Grooms, Endsley Grooms, and Sonny Jones.
Booking photos of the suspects. (Source: DCSO)
Booking photos of the suspects. (Source: DCSO)

RIDGEVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Court documents released Wednesday state three people conspired to murder a family member they lived with in Ridgeville.

Arrest warrant affidavits state 67-year-old Endsley "Bucky" Grooms, his wife 54-year-old Mary Todd Grooms, and her son, 37-year-old Sonny Jones, planned the "execution-style" murder of Jimmy Edwards, Mary Grooms' stepfather.

All three suspects lived with Edwards in his home at 374 Ridge Road.

Court documents state Sonny Jones snuck up behind Edwards, who was in the backyard of the home checking on his chickens, and shot him three times in the back of the head around 11 p.m. on Feb. 1

Jones then turned the weapon, a small-caliber handgun, over to Endsley Grooms to be destroyed, according to investigators. The suspects proceeded to cover up the crime by misleading the investigation, according to the affidavit.

Both Grooms' and Jones are charged with murder, and Jones is also facing charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

An affidavit states Jones provided a written statement to his involvement in the shooting and removing a checkbook from the victim's vehicle. According to court records, $44 was also removed from the victim's pocket.

On the night of the shooting, the suspects told investigators Edwards was on his way home when they heard two gunshots outside around 10:50 p.m. that night, and later walked outside to find Edwards on the ground in the backyard.

Word of the three arrests came as a shock to the rest of the family Tuesday.

"I thought it wouldn't get any worse when we lost Jimmy," said Karen Parker, Grooms' daughter. "I know my dad. I know my mom. I know that they would never have anything to do with anything like this. I know they wouldn't. I've been standing by them from day one."

Parker's daughter, Kourtney Grooms, also has questions about the arrests.

"I know it's got to be impossible that my grandparents did it because they had a great relationship with Jimmy," said Grooms. "They had no fights. They loved him to death."

Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated the suspect was the victim's grandson.  Authorities have since clarified he is the step-grandson of the victim.  Live 5 News regrets the error.

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