Mary Frances Stoner
(January 30, 1967 to November 30, 1979)
Let us not forget 12-year-old Mary Frances Stoner every year on January 30 and November 30. She was murdered by Darrell Gene Devier. Justice was served when he was executed on May 17, 1995 in Georgia. We made her one of The 82 murdered children of Unit 1012 and Janusz Korczak’s 190+ children where we will not forget her.
Twelve-year-old Mary Frances Stoner lived with her parents in rural Bartow County and attended Adairsville High School.
Darrell Gene Devier was employed as a tree-trimmer by a company which in November 1979 sent a crew to prune trees near the Stoner residence, along the Georgia Power right-of-way.
The job took several days, during which time Devier on one occasion related to a fellow crew-member that he would like to have sex with the Stoner girl and on another occasion he was heard to observe, "It's time for the good-looking girl to get home from school." The crew completed its work at noon on Friday, November 30, 1979, and received the remainder of the day off.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m. that day, two witnesses observed a dark-blue or black Ford Pinto with mag wheels parked at the exit of an abandoned truck stop approximately 150 feet north of the Stoner driveway.
The driver was a white male with long hair and a beard. This car and its driver were also observed by several students on the school bus which dropped Mary Stoner off near her driveway between 3:55 and 4:00 p.m. A student who had been sitting with Mary Stoner exited at the next stop, about 50 yards further south. Upon exiting, she observed a dark-colored Pinto with mag wheels backing out of the Stoner driveway. It had two people in it.
The body of Mary Frances Stoner was found the next day in a wooded area in Floyd County, near the Floyd-Bartow county line. Her head was crushed. Several blood-stained rocks lay nearby, the largest of which weighed 49 pounds.
Doctor Harvey Howell conducted the autopsy. In addition to the head injuries, Dr. Howell observed fresh tears and bruises in the vaginal area and discovered, inside her vagina, a large amount of blood-tinged fluid material. This material was later examined by a serologist from the state crime lab who testified that it contained spermatozoa.
Dr. Howell testified that, in his opinion, Mary Stoner had been raped and that death had occurred soon afterwards as a result of severe brain injury and asphyxiation by choking.
Devier, who had long hair and a beard and owned a black Pinto with mag wheels, was arrested 5 days later. Devier gave a statement which was transcribed and admitted in evidence at trial.
He told the interrogating officers that he had been driving his black Pinto the afternoon of November 30, looking for a place to rent, when he saw the school bus just as Mary Frances Stoner got off. The school bus left and he pulled into the driveway and asked her for some directions.
She came to the car and sat in the passenger seat to look at a piece of paper he had "pulled out" of his "dash." Then he grabbed her and drove off, taking her to an isolated, wooded area. He stopped the car and told her to get into the back seat. She asked him if he was going to rape her and he told her "yes." After they had "sexual intercourse," he made her get out of the car.
Devier told the officers that he intended to tie her to a tree and then leave. However, she yelled at him and hit him in his chest and he pushed her. She fell and hit her head "on a rock or something" and when he saw that, he "just got down and started choking her." Then he left.