Athens man, Elbert woman charged with killing woman’s grandfather, sinking body in pond

An Athens man and an Elberton woman were both charged Wednesday with murdering the woman’s grandfather then sinking his body in a farm pond, according to the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office.


William David Peterson, 19, of Athens and Savanna Marie Jennings, 19, of Elberton are both charged with murder, felony murder, malice murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, aggravated assault and concealing a death.

Peterson is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A third suspect, Dakota Scott Street, 18, of Elbert County is charged with concealing the death.

Sheriff’s deputies said Jennings’ grandfather, 86-year-old Otha Perrin of Pearl Mill Road, died from multiple gunshots.

Jennings went to the sheriff’s detention center in Elberton on Sunday morning to report that her grandfather was missing, according to a sheriff’s report. Then Monday, another family member arrived at the sheriff’s office and “said something isn’t right” about Perrin’s disappearance.

During the investigation, deputies said, “Jennings eventually broke down and admitted she had been deceitful.”

Investigators declined to release a motive for the slaying.

The body of Jennings’ grandfather was recovered Monday from a pond off Wahatchee Creek Road south of Elberton near Pearl Mill Road. Investigators also recovered a .22-caliber rifle on the same property, according to the report.

Elbert County Sheriff Melvin Andrews said the investigation was assisted by the coroner’s office and the Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.

The Elbert County Emergency Management Agency and its dive team, the Athens-Clarke Police Department and the State Probation Office also assisted, Andrews said.