A Warren County General District Court judge determined prosecutors showed there is probable cause to certify three charges related to a murder last year to the grand jury in August.
On Dec. 2, police responded to Digs Landing in Warren County after someone found a body in a refrigerator. After an investigation spanning the month of December, police arrested two men, Richard Crouch, 37, and George Good, 28, on charges of abduction, first-degree murder and concealing the body of Tristan Brinklow.
Both men live in Front Royal.
Crouch appeared Friday with his attorney in court where prosecutors offered a sliver of the evidence they have garnered against Crouch.
According to an investigator with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office who testified on Friday, Crouch admitted to his role in killing Brinklow and in hiding the body.
In December, Crouch had been held at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County Regional Jail on unrelated matters. While he was in custody, the Sheriff’s Office received information from a confidential informant at the jail that Crouch was talking about the murder.
In response to the report, a Sheriff's Office investigator went to the jail to interview Crouch about what he had been talking about. Although he initially told the investigator he wanted to talk with a lawyer first, Crouch's attorney said on Friday that his client consented to the interview, which was recorded.
Friday’s preliminary hearing revolved around the interview Crouch gave and the investigator who conducted it. No other witnesses were called on Friday.
During the interview on Dec. 26, Crouch told police he was attacked by Brinklow with a knife when they were at the Skyline Motel in Front Royal with Good.
After wrestling with Brinklow, Crouch told the investigator that Good hit Brinklow on the head with a hammer. The two of them then proceeded to beat Brinklow, according to the investigator.
The investigator said on Friday that Crouch said Good had done most of the beating.
After the beating, Crouch told the investigator that he and Good tied up Brinklow, who was still breathing, with an extension cord and Good told Crouch to hold a belt around Brinklow’s neck.
After Brinklow stopped breathing, Crouch told the investigator he and Good moved Brinklow’s body to the tub before putting it inside a refrigerator. Crouch told the investigator that they then moved the body in the refrigerator to Digs Landing — an area Crouch was familiar with because he lived nearby.
Later on, the investigator said, the men returned to the motel room and cleaned up after the fight and disposed of the evidence at the Riverton Quarry. Police later found the evidence, which Good told them would lead them back to Crouch.
Good was scheduled to appear in court as well on Friday but his hearing was continued to 2 p.m. Oct. 7.