One of the more sordid chapters of Columbia County criminal history slammed shut with a pair of surprise guilty pleas on Friday.
The good news is that taxpayers will be spared the additional expense of a lengthy prosecution. The bad news is that we’ll have to warehouse a murderous mother and son for the rest of their miserable lives.
And it comes as the victimized family is spending their fourth Mother’s Day without a wife and mother.
Like most any other day, Kay Parsons had taken her son to school on March 25, 2009, and returned to her Grovetown home. On this particularly dark day, however, she was met with an ambush. Rebecca Sears and her son, Christopher Sean Bowers, who lived next door, had broken into Parsons’ home where they awaited.
Parsons was brutally beaten to death with a claw hammer and a baseball bat. Sears and Bowers first tried to sell to Columbia County investigators the story that there had been a burglary, and that they just happened to be nearby. One concocted tale after another finally fell apart, and the two were arrested and charged with murder. Both were eligible for, and surely deserve, the death penalty.
Making matters worse is the purported rationale for the crime: Sears’ husband was deployed with the military in Afghanistan; Sears was pursuing a relationship with Parsons’ husband, and wanted Parsons out of the way. How utterly warped that she’d not only destroy one family, but drag her own adult son into the plot.
It’s been nearly 25 years (in the case of serial rapist Richard Daniel Starrette) since Columbia County attempted a death-penalty case. No other capital cases currently are waiting.
Good police work, and airtight prosecution, makes it abundantly obvious to criminals that they’re better off taking a life sentence than trying their luck with a jury. It’s also a tremendous savings for local taxpayers.
True, Bowers’ and Sears’ plea bargains allow them to escape capital punishment. But it also gives them the rest of their wasted lives to contemplate the damage they’ve done.