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SWAT team arrests 2 murder suspects in Dawson County
Forsyth County SWAT team members mobilize at a nearby church before maneuvering into a home on Harmony Church Road in Dawson County where a murder suspect had barricaded himself Tuesday. The suspect was arrested after a nearly three hour standoff. - photo by Michele Hester

A more than three-hour standoff in Dawson County on Tuesday ended with a second murder suspect in custody.

John Michael Taylor, 27, of Acworth was arrested around 7 p.m., hours after he barricaded himself in a home on Harmony Church Road, according to Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle.

Taylor was one of three suspects charged Monday night in the murder of 47-year-old Christopher Pierce, who was found shot to death Sunday night inside his Woodstock home in Cherokee County.

Krystle Gail Taylor, 27, of Dawsonville and Benson Kyle Lloyd, 28, of Jasper are also charged with murder.

Working with Dawson County investigators, Cherokee County detectives followed cellphone transmissions to the home, where Krystle Gail Taylor was apprehended without incident, according to Carlisle.

When John Michael Taylor would not leave the house, SWAT team members from Cherokee and Forsyth counties began negotiations.

Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison said SWAT team members were able to secretly maneuver into the home, where police used a stun gun on Taylor and apprehended him.

“Forsyth County conducted negotiations for probably three hours, at which time he broke off those negotiations,” Garrison said.

It was then that negotiators successfully lured him into a position where he could be apprehended.

“(They) were able to get around a corner and take a Taser on Mr. Taylor, and he was arrested without any further incident,” Garrison said. “This gets us two of these very dangerous individuals off the streets.”

The search continues for Lloyd, he said.

Early Tuesday, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Jay Baker announced felony murder warrants had been issued for the trio, who were reportedly together and considered armed and dangerous.

Garrison said the weekend slaying was believed to be drug-related.

“The last three hours (of the standoff) ... we actually watched him shoot meth while he was negotiating,” Garrison said.

Officers also watched as the barricaded suspect brandished a handgun.

Garrison said the barricaded suspect’s drug use escalated the danger for officers.

“He had already twice today came out and brandished a weapon, so we knew he had a weapon with him,” Garrison said.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Lloyd is urged to call Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office investigators at 770-928-0239 or 911.

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