Benson Kyle Lloyd, 28, of Jasper, John Michael Taylor, 27, of Acworth, and Krystle Gail Taylor, 27, of Dawsonville, are charged with felony murder in the death of Christopher Pierce, 47, who police said was found shot to death in his home Sunday.
The three suspects stood quietly, cuffed at the hands and ankles, as Cherokee Chief Associate Magistrate Judge Gregory T. Doubs explained he couldn’t set bonds in their cases.
“The law doesn’t allow me to,” he said, speaking to Lloyd, who was arrested by officers with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and Cobb Police at a golf shop in Kennesaw on Wednesday.
Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, clarified Thursday night that due to the seriousness of their charges, a Superior Court judge would have to consider bond.
Doubs told the suspects he planned to notify Cherokee County Superior Court on Friday that they were being forwarded there for a bond hearing.
District Attorney Shannon Wallace, however, said Thursday night that “based on facts and circumstances of the case,” she would be against the trio being granted bond at this time.
Lloyd and the Taylors were all arrested within three days of when Pierce was found shot to death Sunday night in his home on Misty Hollow Way near Woodstock, police said.
Krystle Gail Taylor was the first to be arrested Tuesday after detectives learned she was at a home on Highway 136 in Dawsonville. She was taken into custody without incident, but John Michael Taylor held off officers in a three-hour armed standoff at the house, before SWAT team members used a Taser on him, police said.
After the standoff, Baker said detectives recovered a .25-caliber handgun “believed to be the murder weapon.”
According to warrants issued for the three suspects Monday night, Pierce was shot at least twice by a .25-caliber pistol.
But ballistics testing must be done before it can be confirmed the gun from the Dawsonville home was used in Pierce’s death, Baker added.
During the hearing, the judge noted the three have not yet been indicted or arraigned.
The next meeting of a Cherokee County grand jury, which could choose to take up the case to consider indictment, is Jan. 13, the judge said.
Doubs also stressed to Lloyd and the Taylors their right to remain silent.
As John Michael Taylor stood before Doubs, the judge noticed him not speaking.
“You’re not saying anything. That’s good,” he said, citing Taylor couldn’t be made to speak on his charges. “Be very careful about that.”
Doubs also made clear to the suspects that, especially since he couldn’t set bond, the purpose of their hearing was to make sure they understood the charges against them.
“Yes sir,” said Krystle Gail Taylor.