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Services Friday for mother, son who were shot

Family to receive friends tonight

POSTED: July 13, 2011 10:41 p.m.

Funeral services for both Mary and John Pearce have been set for Friday afternoon.

Mary Pearce, 64, died Monday, the result of multiple stab wounds and gunshot wounds. Police say it was her son, 29-year-old John Pearce, who inflicted the wounds.

John Pearce was later shot and killed by police in a cul-de-sac of the upscale Harbour Point Yacht Club subdivision off Dawsonville Highway.

Both will be buried in a joint service in a small Southwest Georgia town near the home of Mary Pearce's parents, according to an obituary in The Times today.

The Hall County Sheriff's Office provided no new details on the case Wednesday, and say they are still awaiting the report from an autopsy conducted Tuesday on John Pearce's body.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also investigating whether two Hall County deputies were justified in shooting John Pearce, who also stabbed his aunt, 66-year-old Gretchan Pearce, multiple times before she was able to flee to safety in a neighbor's home, officials said.

The neighbors called 911. When deputies arrived, John Pearce was walking near the cul-de-sac of
Sunset Point Drive, naked and covered in blood. A news release from the Hall County Sheriff's Office describes his demeanor as "deranged." His aunt, Gretchan Pearce, told investigators John Pearce had been having "an episode," Monday when he killed his mother and later inflicted critical injuries on her.

Authorities have not released many details about what went on between John Pearce and the deputies, citing the GBI's investigation.

John Pearce had been living at home with his mother ever since his father, Hollis Pearce had fallen ill, according to information provided by the sheriff's office. Hollis Pearce died in October 2009. Neighbors say John and Mary Pearce moved into the Sunset Point residence in spring 2010.

Once they moved to Gainesville, they became members of Lakewood Baptist Church on Thompson Bridge Road.

The mother-son duo worked together on various business ventures started by Hollis Pearce in the Atlanta area, including a childcare business in Acworth.

According to his obituary, John Pearce was born in Columbus, but later moved to the Atlanta area with his family where he graduated from North Cobb High School. He attended college at the University of Georgia and eventually obtained his degree at the University of Mississippi.

Mary Pearce, originally from Dawson, had a career as a teacher before she moved to Atlanta to help her husband run his businesses.

Her obituary states she worked in school districts in Muscogee and Harris counties as well as the Flint River Academy in Meriwether County.

Hollis Pearce had been her high school sweetheart, according to his 2009 obituary.

Gretchan Pearce, who was stabbed by John Pearce as she responded to a call for help from his mother, is married to Hollis Pearce's brother Charlie. The couple lives less than a mile from the home Mary and John Pearce shared in the Harbour Point subdivision.

Gretchan Pearce is expected to survive her injuries.

Family of John and Mary Pearce will receive friends from 7 to 9 tonight at the Smith-Steele-Meadows funeral home in Woodbury. A funeral will be held at Jones Chapel in Woodbury Friday at 2 p.m.

 



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