News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 16, 2010
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 takes a closer look at the documents and at the possibility of an affair as the motive in this murder. Also in Part 2, News 12 asks Tony Sears about his thoughts on the possibility of the death penalty if his wife or stepson are convicted.