Defense hopes for beating death trials this year

  • Follow Metro

Defense attorneys for a Columbia County mother and son accused of fatally beating a neighbor hope to proceed with their two death penalty trials this year despite delays.

Back | Next
Rebecca Sears  Special
Special
Rebecca Sears

Rebecca Sears, 41, and son Christopher Bowers, 20, are charged with murder in the March death of Ms. Sears' next-door neighbor, Laverne "Kay" Parsons.

Ms. Sears' attorney, Victor Hawk, said he hopes to try the case this year, but "I don't get to control how fast the state is able to prepare their case."

On March 25, Ms. Parsons was found in her garage beaten to death with a bat and a claw hammer. Ms. Sears, of the 200 block of Hot Springs Drive, and Mr. Bowers, of the 4000 block of Briarwood Drive in Martinez, were arrested a few days later. Both were indicted on murder, armed robbery and burglary charges in April.

Though several hearings for pre-trial motions have been held, none have been "substantive evidentiary hearings" because prosecutors were awaiting results of evidence testing from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab, District Attorney Ashley Wright said. Two more hearings on pre-trial motions are scheduled Jan. 27 and Feb. 25.

Mr. Hawk, whose brother Jacque represents Mr. Bowers, said preparing the case for trial is a slow and lengthy process even without delays in evidence testing.

"We have a lot of forensic evidence out there that for some reason they can't get the testing done," he said.

Ms. Wright said about 80 percent of the tests are complete. She has said that because of backups at the crime lab and the number of tests needed, evidence has been sent there in batches.

"It is causing us a lot of problems in going forward with our investigation and our own testing because we can't obtain samples of the evidence until after they've completed whatever testing they want," Mr. Hawk said.

The time frame for taking a capital murder case to trial depends on several factors, including the number of defendants, the complexity of the case, when evidence is gathered and tested, and how many issues are heard at each pre-trial hearing.

"Generally speaking, its better to try a case sooner rather than later," Ms. Wright said. "It's hard for the family to have to wait and wait."

By law, Ms. Sears and Mr. Bowers will be tried separately. Even if waivers are filed, Mr. Hawk said judges are reluctant to try more than one death-penalty case defendant at the same time because of potential legal errors that could lead to a mistrial.

"We made the request that they be tried separately ... because the evidentiary issues are very different between them," Mr. Hawk said. Case presentation and other factors also will differ in their trials, he said.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110, or valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

THE CASE

Rebecca Sears, 41, and son Christopher Bowers, 20, are charged with the March slaying of Ms. Sears' neighbor, Laverne "Kay" Parsons.

Comments (39) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
APiratesLife4Me
0
Points
APiratesLife4Me 01/02/10 - 02:13 am
0
0
It would be nice if they

It would be nice if they could be dirt bisquits this year instaed of waiting 20 years to bury them.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 01/02/10 - 07:39 am
0
0
What with a certain segment

What with a certain segment of the community do about those fitting a certain description?

ICSunshine
0
Points
ICSunshine 01/02/10 - 07:44 am
0
0
So, ispy. You looked in the

So, ispy. You looked in the mirror this morning and nothing had changed? I feel for ya man. Try Doan's pills for your back problems from carrying that load of chips on your shoulders.

smartie
0
Points
smartie 01/02/10 - 09:23 am
0
0
yeah? execute 'em. see! ispy,

yeah? execute 'em. see! ispy, no matter how ignorant you choose to be, you can count on this white guy to have the same opinion on these white people, as i would on any other race of people. thug life abound!

Junket831
0
Points
Junket831 01/02/10 - 09:24 am
0
0
So much for a speedy trial.

So much for a speedy trial. Shame on Georgia for creating a backlog in processing crime evidence. If the backlog takes too long I suppose some appelate judge down the road may throw it back for violating the defendants rights. I wonder when the attorneys are going to ask for a change of venue. The citizens of Columbia County are generally tough on crime and reflect a sentiment similar to Pirate's comment above.

Rolling Eyes
245
Points
Rolling Eyes 01/02/10 - 09:40 am
0
0
Ispy, a "certain segment of

Ispy, a "certain segment of the community" don't feel that it is appropriate for ANY segment of the community to commit crimes and not face the consequences. Regardless of race or gender, we feel that they should be tried and held accountable for their actions. Its a shame that ALL "segments of the community" do not feel the same way about the matter.

andywarhol
0
Points
andywarhol 01/02/10 - 09:47 am
0
0
Yeah, this segment of

Yeah, this segment of community doesn't hold our criminals on a pedestal and make them our heroes and role models.

Riverman1
83754
Points
Riverman1 01/02/10 - 10:10 am
0
0
Death by "claw hammer" is a

Death by "claw hammer" is a terrible way to die. I see the main issue in this trial as being with the mother's involvement. She could claim she never meant for her son to commit murder. It's going to be long and complicated with the son doing all he can to protect his mother. The Hawks, being brothers, will plan it and get the son to help. The son could potentially get his mother off.

JohnQPublic
5
Points
JohnQPublic 01/02/10 - 10:12 am
0
0
Ispy, they're not exactly in

Ispy, they're not exactly in a luxury prison playing racquetball and going to the spa everyday. They've been rotting away in jail since last year. Life as they knew it is over. Your comment doesn't make sense.

JohnQPublic
5
Points
JohnQPublic 01/02/10 - 10:12 am
0
0
You've got that right warhol.

You've got that right warhol.

easy breezy
14
Points
easy breezy 01/02/10 - 10:48 am
0
0
This has been put off too

This has been put off too long. They should get the death penalty. Mrs. Prason didn't get a chance to live her life out, why should these two heartless murderers??

Riverman1
83754
Points
Riverman1 01/02/10 - 11:14 am
0
0
Giving the defendants the

Giving the defendants the death penalty is another problem. The most damaging evidence is against the son. He was obviously influenced to do the act by his MOTHER. That sad situation will probably get him off from the death penalty. The mother's attorney is going to argue that she never intended for her son to kill Mrs. Parsons. The son is going to testify for her that she never told him too, but he thought it would help her, etc. Mrs. Parson's husband, who had an affair with Sears, will be a key witness if he talked to the boy often, etc. There will be lots of maneuvering in this trial.

subdoc679
0
Points
subdoc679 01/02/10 - 11:29 am
0
0
Totally senseless crime....

Totally senseless crime.... I feel sad for all the families involved. How does somebody go off the deep end like this? Crazy....

my.voice
4811
Points
my.voice 01/02/10 - 11:56 am
0
0
If you don't like your

If you don't like your neighbor, just move.

ICSunshine
0
Points
ICSunshine 01/02/10 - 12:01 pm
0
0
I think this was a case of

I think this was a case of loving your neighbor too much....

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 01/02/10 - 02:23 pm
0
0
Yeah right SMARTIE. I can

Yeah right SMARTIE. I can count on you to be the bigot that you are. My post was mimicking you and ignorant people like ICSUNSHINE.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 01/02/10 - 02:25 pm
0
0
I knew that would hit the

I knew that would hit the nerves of the likes of Andy and the rest. Cannot stand it when your own stupid comments are used against you?

smartie
0
Points
smartie 01/02/10 - 02:45 pm
0
0
you're not very smart, are

you're not very smart, are you?

ICSunshine
0
Points
ICSunshine 01/02/10 - 02:48 pm
0
0
He doesn't need to be. He's

He doesn't need to be. He's got the pigment pass for the Army.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 01/02/10 - 02:52 pm
0
0
I hope to hell you do not

I hope to hell you do not believe that you are smart? Having a bigoted smart mouth does not equal intelligence.

smartie
0
Points
smartie 01/02/10 - 02:52 pm
0
0
well, hey! someones got to

well, hey! someones got to peel those potatoes.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 01/02/10 - 02:53 pm
0
0
Yeah, and I got the green

Yeah, and I got the green buck from them. I guess you stayed in the closet to keep out?

ICSunshine
0
Points
ICSunshine 01/02/10 - 02:59 pm
0
0
In my 23+ years of service I

In my 23+ years of service I helped many who had no skill other than waving the race card return to civilian life. I am sorry I missed you.

ICSunshine
0
Points
ICSunshine 01/02/10 - 03:02 pm
0
0
smartie, are we having fun

smartie, are we having fun yet?

smartie
0
Points
smartie 01/02/10 - 03:08 pm
0
0
i think we're in a battle of

i think we're in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 01/02/10 - 03:26 pm
0
0
Yeah right. If you did

Yeah right. If you did anything it was keep those with certain pigmentation down. You are the biggest waver of any card or flag. You probably are sorry that you could not hold me back. Your postings would let even Stevie Wonder see that you are no friend to minorities. That is why you and SMARTIE are constantly changing names. The CHRONICLE keep putting you off because of your racist post. I have never asked,begged nor solicited anything from anyone. Every thing I have I earned despite people like you, SMARTIE, APEX and HUMBLEIDIOT just to name a few.

ICSunshine
0
Points
ICSunshine 01/02/10 - 03:32 pm
0
0
Any day you'd care to sit

Any day you'd care to sit down and compare performance reports and DD-214's I'm ready. I got rid of hundreds like you, ispy. Our nation doesn't have room for racists in the ranks.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 01/02/10 - 03:39 pm
0
0
I will let you two idiots

I will let you two idiots enjoy each other. I know you need this site in order to have a reason to live your otherwise pathetic lives. I truly feel sorry for the two of you. It must be hard living such a hate filled life. My you be able to find peace one day. I resolve myself not to respond to you two any more. As I stated in the past. I believe that one of you are behind the user name JUSTUS.So have fun playing with each other.

smartie
0
Points
smartie 01/02/10 - 03:57 pm
0
0
dang, sunshine! you scared

dang, sunshine! you scared him off! did the army make him that paranoid? he's going to have a nervous breakdown if doesn't figure out who justus is . if you'll just read one last post, ispy, i'll give you some peace of mind. i'm not the idiot you're looking for. that guy justus, his font even looks black. their's no way i could type like a black man.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/02/10 - 04:18 pm
0
0
I don't think it bothers any

I don't think it bothers any of us when those same comments are used. It still equals up to the fact that you don't see a bunch of idiots coming on here making excuses for these lowlifes like you do in the everyday same ole articles of crime. Has nothing to do with not being a friend of minorities, it has to do with being a hater of criminals and the losers who make excuses for them. Why so upset spy, were you not expecting everyone to come in here bashing these criminals and calling for their heads? Most of us just hate criminals no matter what the race is, and its not our fault if one race is committing more or more violent ones than others, we still just hate the criminals, the programs that support them, and the bleeding hearts who make excuses for them and do not punish them appropriately.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs