News 12 at 11, Februrary 16, 2010
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.