UPDATE: Drifter pleads guilty to Jefferson County murders - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Drifter pleads guilty to Jefferson County murders

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By Brian Rodriguez - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

JEFFERSON (WKOW) -- 30 years after two 19-year-old sweethearts, Kelly Drew and Tim Hack, were found murdered in a cornfield in Sullivan, their families get justice.

The man accused of the murders, Edward Edwards pleaded guilty at a motion hearing months before his scheduled trial.

"We were pretty surprised. We didn't find out about it till today. We were surprised. We knew something was going on," said Mike Drew, the brother of victim Kelly Drew.

"It came down quickly shortly before court that we had the plea agreement executed, signed documents and ready to go in court," said Edwards' attorney Jeffrey De La Rosa.

It isn't over yet. Edwards will now be transported to Ohio to face charges of killing two other people decades ago.

"I likened it to running 25 miles in a marathon. We're close he still needs to go to Ohio and sentenced in Ohio and have to come back here to finish up," said Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ.

An already frail Edwards will spend the rest of his life behind bars for those four murders in an Ohio prison.

The 76-year-old's lawyer says Edwards made the deal so his family wouldn't have to go to his Wisconsin trial.

"It gives him closure on the case and at least at the end of it as well as all of the families involved," De La Rosa said.

Happ says they're transporting Edwards to Ohio so that the county wont have to pay to keep him in jail while he waits for his sentencing in that state.

A sentencing for Edwards has not yet been scheduled for Wisconsin.

Edwards was arrested in Kentucky last year. His DNA matched semen found on murder victim Kelly Drew's pants.

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JEFFERSON (WKOW) -- A Kentucky man pleaded guilty to two murders thirty years ago in Jefferson County before his scheduled trial.

Edward Edwards agreed to a plea deal, he was convicted of killing 19-year-olds Tim Hack and Kelly Drew in 1980, and will head to Summit County Ohio where he is expected to plead guilty to the murders of two people there decades ago.

As part of the deal, Edwards will serve life sentences consecutively at a prison in Ohio.

"His motivation primarily is so his family wouldn't come down for the trial, his wife or his kids," said Defense Attorney Jeffrey De La Rosa.

"The family is able to breath a sigh of relief and have a real smile on their faces so I am happy for them," said Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ.

After being sentenced in Ohio, the 76-year-old will come back to Jefferson County to be sentenced there.

Happ says it makes sense so tax payers in Jefferson County won't have to pay to house Edwards in jail as he waits for his Ohio sentencing.

Edwards will be transported sometime this month.

His trial was suppose to take place in September.

Brian Rodriguez has you covered from Jefferson County tonight on 27 news at 5pm, and 6pm

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JEFFERSON (WKOW) -- In a surprising move, Edward Edwards has pleaded guilty to killing a teenage couple in Wisconsin nearly 30 years ago and agreed to plead guilty to two Ohio murders.

It happened at a hearing Wednesday that was supposed to be about what jail he would be housed in while he awaited trial in Wisconsin.

The Kentucky man pleaded guilty to killing 19-year-old sweethearts, Tim Hack and Kelly Drew in 1980. The 76-year-old Edwards will be sentenced at a later date to the required sentence of life in prison on each charge.

As part of the plea deal, Edwards will be transported to Summit County, Ohio, where he will plead guilty to killing 21-year-old Bill Lavaco and 18-year-old Judith Straub in 1977. He agreed to serve his prison sentence in Ohio.

We will have more on this developing story here on wkow.com and on 27 News at 5, 6 and 6:30.

 

27 News Continuing Coverage:

Cold case trial: defense requests outside jury (Feb. 24, 2010)

Defense wants trial moved out of Jefferson County (Feb. 18, 2010)

Edwards' trial set for March (Nov. 11, 2009)

Edwards pleads not guilty in Jefferson Co. cold case (Oct. 22, 2009)

Federal grant jump-starts cold case investigations (Sept. 08, 2009)

Alleged cold case killer waives preliminary hearing (Aug. 27, 2009)

Other investigators looking into Edwards (Aug. 26, 2009)

$2 Mil Bond set for man accused of 1980 murders (Aug. 13, 2009)

Alleged killer in 1980 cold case returns to Wisconsin (Aug. 12, 2009)

Suspect in double-murder to return to Wisconsin (Aug. 12, 2009)

Update: Father of teen slain three decades ago speaks out (July 31, 2009)

76-year-old man pleads not guilty in Jefferson County cold case (July, 31, 2009)

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