New bond hearing set in fatal beating

A new bond hearing date was set today for a Columbia County mother and son accused of murder.

Rebecca Sears, 41, and her 20-year-old son Christopher Bowers face the death penalty for the alleged fatal beating of Laverne “Kay” Parsons, Mrs. Sears’ next-door neighbor.

A second bond hearing for Mrs. Sears, of 227 Hot Springs Drive, Grovetown, and Mr. Bowers of the 4000 block of Briarwood Drive, Martinez, will be held 9 a.m. May 13 at the Columbia County Justice Center in Evans. An arraignment hearing will be held at the same time, said Mrs. Sears’ attorney Victor Hawk.

Superior Court Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet denied bond to Mrs. Sears and Mr. Bowers during an initial bond hearing held April 16.

However, Judge Overstreet told Mr. Hawk and his brother Jacque, who is defending Mr. Bowers, that they could reapply for bond following a now cancelled preliminary hearing that had been set for Wednesday.

An indictment last week by a Columbia County grand jury eliminated the need for a preliminary hearing. The grand jury indicted Mrs. Sears and Mr. Bowers for murder, armed robbery and burglary. Typically, preliminary hearings are held to establish probable cause, but probable cause is set once a grand jury indicts.

At the first bond hearing, Assistant District Attorney Philip Catalano referred to Mrs. Sears as the “mastermind” behind her 41-year-old neighbor’s murder. Mr. Catalano said it was Mrs. Sears who told her son when to strike and it was Mr. Bowers who beat Mrs. Parsons to death with a claw hammer.

Prosecutors filed Friday a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Mrs. Sears and Mr. Bowers with Superior Court.

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