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Rebecca Bowers SEARS

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: To eliminate her romantic rival
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 25, 2009
Date of arrest: 3 days after
Date of birth: February 5, 1968
Victim profile: Laverne Katherine "Kay" Parsons, 41 (her lover's wife)
Method of murder: Beating with a bat and a claw hammer
Location: Grovetown, Columbia County, Georgia, USA
Status: Plead guilty. Sentenced to life in prison without parole on May 11, 2012
 
 

 
 

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Sears and Bowers plead guilty to murder

The Columbia County mother and son sentenced to life in prison

By Valerie Rowell - NewsTimes.augusta.com

May 11, 2012

A Columbia County mother and son pled guilty Friday to the 2009 beating death of Laverne “Kay” Parsons.

Rebecca Bowers Sears, 44, and her son, Christopher Sean Bowers, 23, offered negotiated guilty pleas during a sentencing hearing in Evans.

Superior Court Judge Sheryl B. Jolly sentenced both Sears and Bowers to life in prison without parole for murder, life in prison for armed robbery and 20 years for burglary, with the sentences to be served consecutively.

“It was a good resolution to the case to get it done on both defendants that quickly,” District Attorney Ashley Wright said after the hearing. “I hate to say ‘that quickly’ three years later.”

Columbia County sheriff’s deputies found a beaten and bloody Parsons in the garage of her Grovetown home in March 2009. Authorities accused Sears and Bowers of beating her to death with a bat and a claw hammer.

“She’d been beaten very severely,” Wright said. “She’d been struck numerous times.”

Deputies arrested the mother and son a few days later. Both were indicted on murder, armed robbery and burglary charges in April 2010.

In previous court appearances, prosecutors said Sears had an affair with Parson’s husband and orchestrated the murder to eliminate her romantic rival.

To try and derail the investigation, Sears and Bowers staged a shooting days following Parsons’ murder. Though Bowers meant only to threaten his mother with a gun before a “witness” listening from Sears’ mobile phone, he actually pulled the trigger and shot Sears in the leg in front of her Augusta workplace, said Richmond County sheriff’s investigators.

District Attorney Ashley Wright intended to seek the death penalty.

“I think it is an appropriate case for the death penalty,” Wright said, adding that the pleas avoid the trauma of trials on the families involved. “It is, quite frankly, one of the grisliest murders I have ever seen.”

Attorneys for Sears and Bowers negotiated the guilty plea to avoid the possibility of lethal injections.


Death penalty trial of Columbia County woman might happ

By Valerie Rowell - NewsTimes.augusta.com

October 21, 2011

A Superior Court judge set a potential date Friday for the death penalty trial of a Columbia County woman accused of murdering her neighbor and alleged romantic rival.

The trial of Rebecca Bowers Sears, 43, will likely start in April. Superior Court Judge Sheryl Jolly tentatively set aside three weeks after Masters Week for the trial in Evans.

Sears’ lead defense attorney, Newell Hamilton, said he doesn’t expect to file any more motions to continue the case, but there are still issues to deal with that might pose delays.

“We still have to address the issue of getting Mrs. Sears’ husband back from Afghanistan,” Hamilton said. Raymond J. Sears Jr. is deployed with the military.

Sears and her son, Christopher Sean Bowers, 22, are charged with murder in the fatal beating of Laverne “Kay” Parsons.

On March 25, 2009, Parsons was found in her garage beaten to death with a bat and a claw hammer. Sears and Bowers were arrested a few days later. Both were indicted on murder, armed robbery and burglary charges in April 2010.

Sears was allegedly having an affair with Parson’s husband, David.

At Friday’s hearing to consider pre-trial motions, Hamilton voiced objections about including portions of victims’ impact statements as evidence in the trial. He specifically objected to a question asking how the victim’s family was emotionally or psychologically affected by her death.

“We think that entire question is inappropriate and a problem,” Hamilton said.

Jolly ruled to allow the statements, but agreed to reconsider the motion once Hamilton submits a brief describing his objections in more detail.

By law, Sears and Bowers must be tried separately because the district attorney intends to seek the death penalty.

A date for Bowers’ trial has not been set.


Mother and son indicted in Grovetown murder case

By Katie Beasley - Wrdw.com

April 22, 2009

GROVETOWN, Ga.---A Columbia County mother and son face more charges in the death of 41-year old Kay Parsons. Parsons was found beaten in her Grovetown home last month.

Indictments were handed down today from the Columbia County grand jury. 41-year old Rebecca Sears and her 20-year old son Christopher Bowers are each now charged with burglary, armed robbery, and murder.

The indictment lays out the charges and says Bowers and Sears robbed Parsons, stole her jewelry off her body during the attack, but one question has yet to be answered and that's why.

In the last month prosecutors have slowly unveiled a plot to kill 41-year old Kay Parsons. Her next door neighbor, Rebecca Sears is being called the mastermind and her son, Christopher Bowers, the attacker.

Both have now been indicted in Parsons' murder.

According to the grand jury indictment both Sears and Bowers are facing four charges: burglary, armed robbery, malice murder and felony murder.

The indictment goes on to say during the burglary Parsons' was robbed and a gold necklace and watch were taken off her body. At some point she was beaten with a bat and a claw hammer.

"Policemen discovered the victim had been beaten almost to death by a claw hammer in her living room. The blood trail suggests she fled from Christopher Sean Bowers into the garage where she was ultimately murdered by the blows from the claw hammer," says Assistant District Attorney Philip Catalano during a bond hearing last week.

The fourth charge, felony murder, leaves the option for capital punishment if the District Attorney's office seeks the death penalty.

Sears' attorney, Victor Hawk, said at last week's bond hearing he thought all evidence was circumstantial. "I haven't really heard anything from the state with regard to real evidence to justify concluding that Rebecca sears killed anyone," says Victor Hawk, Rebecca Sears' Defense Attorney.

The indictment cancels the preliminary hearing that was scheduled for April 29th. The next step will be an arraignment where Sears and Bowers will both enter a plea on these new charges. After that, the trial process will begin.

Both Sears and Bowers remain in the Columbia County jail with no bond.

The million dollar question is still why these two allegedly killed Parsons. Its one of the many unanswered questions and the motive has yet to been made public and now with no preliminary hearing in the immediate future, it may be a little while longer before it is made public.


Woman, son face charges in killing

By Donnie Fetter and Jenna Martin - NewsTimes.augusta.com

March 29, 2009

A Columbia County man is charged with murder, and his mother with murder conspiracy, in the fatal beating of a neighbor, who was also the mother's co-worker.

Christopher Sean Bowers, 19, and Rebecca Bowers Sears, 41, were arrested late Friday in the death of Laverne Katherine Parsons, 41, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris. Authorities added a murder charge against Mr. Bowers on Saturday, Capt. Morris said.

He said no more arrests were expected.

Mrs. Parsons, of 229 Hot Springs Drive, was found beaten in her home Wednesday morning and died the next day. Authorities said it appeared she had interrupted a burglary. A coroner's report indicates she suffered severe head injuries from a hammer and a baseball bat found at the scene.

Capt. Morris said search warrants had been executed at the residences of Ms. Sears, of 227 Hot Springs Drive, and Mr. Bowers, of 4086 Briarwood Drive. Ms. Sears' vehicle was seized. Police also obtained a search warrant for Ms. Sears' Augusta workplace, Healing Hands Physical Therapy Center on Highland Avenue. Ms. Parsons had worked at the Thomson location of the therapy center, according to the company's Web site.

Capt. Morris said he would not discuss a motive for the attack or what led to the arrests.

He said Mr. Bowers had a police record and had been charged in May with marijuana possession, driving under the influence of drugs and other traffic-related offenses.

He would not discuss an incident Thursday night during which Ms. Sears told a Richmond County sheriff's investigator that she was shot in the leg by a man who surprised, then threatened her outside her workplace. Capt. Morris said it was "a reasonable assumption" that the shooting was meant to distract police.

He confirmed that Ms. Sears visited Mrs. Parsons on Wednesday at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, although he would not say whether Mrs. Parsons was conscious at the time.

Ms. Sears and Mr. Bowers were present when deputies reached the Parsons home Wednesday morning after a contractor found a smashed-in French door, Capt. Morris said.

Ms. Sears followed a deputy inside the house, but was escorted out when the deputy saw blood on a couch and living room rug, according to a police incident report.

Ms. Sears told deputies her home had also been broken into. Police said that they found her house ransacked but that there was no sign of forced entry, nor did they have a list of anything missing.


Mother/son murder plot?

By Katie Beasley - Wrdw.com

Part 1

NASHVILLE---It was a murder that shocked a suburban Columbia County, Ga. neighborhood. Kay Parsons, a wife and mother, was beaten to death in her home. Her neighbor, Becky Sears, and Sears' son, Christopher Bowers, are charged in her death.

It's been nearly eleven months, and attorneys say it will be at least that much longer before this case goes to trial.

For the first time since the murder, the suspect's husband is speaking out and standing by his wife and stepson. News 12 spoke with Tony Sears at his family's new home in Nashville.

This February, Kay Parsons would have turned 42 years old. This month her next door neighbor, Becky Sears, also celebrated her 42nd birthday--behind bars.

For Tony Sears, the last ten months have been like a nightmare he can't wake up from, a whirlwind that's turned his family upside down.

"Can Daddy have a kiss?" Tony Sears asked, sharing a quick moment with his youngest son. It's a moment his wife Becky is missing out on.

"It's tough, real tough. All of us miss her so much. My whole world's changed," Tony told News 12.

Tony's whole world changed on March 25. That's when his neighbor, Kay Parsons, was found beaten nearly to death in her home. The back door was smashed, and a blood trail led investigators to the garage and her lifeless body. A claw hammer and baseball bat lay next to her. Parsons died hours later at the hospital.

"She was an innocent victim. She dropped her child off at school, she came back home and was murdered," Columbia County Sheriff's Captain Steve Morris told News 12 in March of 2009.

"It's terrible, I can't even think about it. I don't even know what to think about it," said Tony.

Kay Parsons' next door neighbor, Becky Sears, and her two sons, Michael and Christopher Bowers, were all questioned at the scene. Becky claimed her home had also been burglarized. Investigators say that was just the beginning of a mother and son's elaborate plot to cover their tracks. Prosecutors call Becky the mastermind, and Christopher the killer.

Since their arrest, the two have been in the Columbia County jail awaiting trial for charges of burglary, armed robbery, and murder.

"Do you think she's guilty?" we asked Tony.

"No, no," he replied.

"No doubt in your mind?"

"There's absolutely no doubt in my mind," Tony said.

"They're calling her a mastermind, but saying that he beat a woman to death. Is that any part of him that you've ever known?" we asked.

"Personally, I couldn't see him doing something like that," Tony said.

Rene' Alexander, Becky's sister, has been at the Nashville home to help Tony and his boys. Her family is also helping to pay for her sister and nephew's defense.

"No doubt in your mind she's innocent?" we asked Rene'.

"No doubt whatsoever," Rene' said. "I know my sister and I know my nephew. I know the things that they're capable of and this is not one of them."

Rene' and Tony say Becky's three boys ask about their mother all the time.

"Do they understand?" we asked.

"Not really," Rene' said. "It's just been really heart-wrenching, because every time the boys come up and give me a big hug, I think, 'This is what Becky's missing.' Every time some milestone happens, I think, 'She's never gonna get this back.'"

"They were two, five, and 13, and now they're three, six, and 14. So she's missed a few birthdays," Rene' went on.

"Becky's afraid that the smaller boys will forget her in time, so I keep bringing them down there for visitation," Tony said.

"Even if people wonder if Becky and Christopher are innocent, there's no doubt about the fact that the other children are completely innocent," said Rene'.

Tony and Rene' say seeing Becky and Christopher in those shackles and orange jumpsuits never gets any easier.

"You can look into their eyes and see that their spirit is still there," Rene' said. "They're still holding tight. But it's just, your heart breaks for them every time you see them."

"It's extremely hard, and to hear how she's being treated, it just doesn't seem fair," Tony said of his wife. "She's doing as well as expected."

In 2002, News 12 talked with Becky and two of her boys about lake safety. Now that interview offers a snapshot of their lives before courtrooms, handcuffs, and murder charges.

"She's not that type of person that would be so cruel and vindictive and just--it was a heinous crime, just heinous, and neither of them are heinous people," said Rene'.

The family says the most hurtful part is feeling like they've already been found guilty before they even step into the courtroom.

"I think what bothers us the most is they're so set on Becky and Christopher they aren't even looking for the real person who has done this," said Tony.

"You feel like they've already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion, and you can kind of understand it, because, you see, here's this woman with this lovely child and this terrible thing happens to her," Rene' said. "You immediately want someone to blame. You immediately want a reason why. You don't want it to be a random act, because you don't want to think it could happen to you."

News 12 reached out to Kay's husband, David Parsons, but neither he nor Kay's family in Pennsylvania wanted to comment.

*****

Part 2

NASHVILLE---It was a murder that grabbed just about everyone's attention. It's been nearly eleven months since Columbia County wife and mother Kay Parsons was beaten to death in her home.

Her neighbor, Becky Sears, and Sears' son, Christopher Bowers are both charged in her death.

It's a murder that can sometimes sound more like a made-for-TV movie, with allegations of an affair, plotting murder schemes, and an elaborate plan to cover it all up.

For the first time since the murder, the suspect's husband is speaking out and standing by his wife and stepson.

News 12 has a closer look at the evidence in this case.

Through incident reports, search warrants, and indictments, prosecutors paint Becky Sears as a calculating mother and Christopher a loyal son driven to murder. It's a picture their family says couldn't possibly be true.

With his wife and stepson behind bars, Tony Sears now lives in Nashville with his three young sons.

"With the kids and with my job, I'm pretty busy, so it kind of takes my mind off it," Tony told News 12.

"You go to sleep one night and you wake up the next day and your entire life has changed," said Rene' Alexander, Becky's sister. Rene' has been helping Tony with the children since Becky was put in jail.

Several lives changed that cool, spring morning in March. A man doing work on a Grovetown house noticed a broken door and called 911. Deputies followed a blood trail through the home to the garage, where they found the near lifeless body of Kay Parsons.

Kay had been beaten with a claw hammer and baseball bat. She died at the hospital.

"This is one of the saddest, if not the saddest case we've investigated in a long, long time," said Columbia County Sheriff's Captain Steve Morris in March 2009.

At the hospital, investigators say Kay's next-door neighbor and co-worker Rebecca Sears demanded to know Kay's condition. It was a red flag, and the investigation narrowed to Sears and her then 19-year-old son, Christopher Bowers.

According to a search warrant, "a confidential informant advised he believed Rebecca Sears was responsible for or involved in the murder of Mrs. Parsons." The confidential informant also stated that on "more than one occasion Mrs. Sears asked him to kill Mrs. Parsons...[the] confidential informant stated Mrs. Sears asked her sons, Christopher Bowers and Michael Bowers, to murder Mrs. Parsons."

"It's terrible, I can't even think about it," Tony said. "I don't even know what to think about it."

So why would Becky Sears allegedly want Kay Parsons dead?

The confidential informant said "he had personal knowledge of Mrs. Sears being involved in a romantic relationship with Mrs. Parsons' Husband, David Parsons."

Becky's oldest son, Michael Bowers, also told investigators "he believed his mother was involved in a romantic relationship with David Parsons."

He said "his mother showed him text messages on her phone that made it clear she was having an affair with someone. His mother made it clear to Michael that she wished she knew someone who would kill someone for her."

"What do you think about the prosecution's claim that she was having an affair?" News 12 asked Tony Sears.

"I'd rather not talk about that," Tony replied.

The suspicious activity doesn't end there. The day after the murder, Becky Sears reported being shot in the leg and threatened about money outside Healing Hands, the clinic were she worked.

Prosecutors say the gunshot wound was "later discovered to have been inflicted by" Christopher as part of a scheme to perhaps shift the focus.

"Let's just wait and see how the facts turn out," Rene' said.

News 12 interviewed Becky Sears in a report about car insurance months before the murder. She's seen filling up a white Ford F-250 truck, the same one parked at Christopher's home after the murder. Crime scene analysts found "blood on the driver's side door, on the parking brake, and on the seat".

The search warrants build a timeline for what Becky Sears allegedly told investigators happened that morning: "Christopher hid in her room in her house...[He] went to the backyard and waited for Mrs. Parsons to leave...then used a hammer and broke in the back door...[He] went upstairs and staged a burglary."

According to the warrant, Becky went on to say Christopher told her that he "beat the **** out of her", and after the murder Christopher "went back to her house and entered through the back door...staged the burglary at her house and then left. Rebecca stated Christopher called her and told her to pick him up...when she [did] He had blood on his face and he said he took care of everything."

"Rebecca stated Christopher changed his clothes in her car and placed his bloody clothes in a backpack," the warrant continues.

At a bond hearing in April, an assistant district attorney stated, "The blood trail suggests [Kay Parsons] fled from Christopher Sean Bowers into the garage where she was ultimately murdered by the blows from the claw hammer."

"Could the Becky you know be capable of something like this? I mean, they call her a mastermind, that she orchestrated this," we asked Tony Sears.

"No," Tony answered. "I don't believe none of that, and I believe she's innocent."

Arrested two days after the murder, Becky and Christopher have spent the last ten months in a Columbia County jail.

"It just doesn't seem fair," Tony said. "I've always thought, 'Well you're in jail. It's not supposed to be fair.' Until something like this does happen, then you realize what they're going through."

Prosecutors are going for the death penalty for both mother and son.

"Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but I've actually had to stop reading the newspapers and blogs...the stuff that people write," Tony said. "I mean, it's gut-wrenching what they think should be done to Becky and Christopher."

Tony and his sister-in-law both say thoughts about the death penalty do creep into their minds.

"You already know what's already at the end of the trial," Tony said. "I try not to think about it too much. I don't want to think about it."

"You have to plan for the worst and hope for the best," said Rene'.

Months away from a trial, this family can only wait.

"We are going to stand behind them all the way through and just hope and pray the truth comes out and we'll all be back together again," said Rene'.

"What keeps me sane is I know that soon it will be over and the truth will come out," Tony said.

Defense attorneys say murder trials will likely come early next year. Becky and Christopher will be tried separately. The defense has filed for a change of venue for both trials.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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