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Alleged Murder Suspects Make Court Appearance

The trio accused of killing a Woodstock man stood before Cherokee Magistrate Court Judge Gregory Douds Thursday afternoon.

Defendant John Michael Taylor listens as Magistrate Court Judge Greg Douds explains the purpose of the hearing as his attorney Daran Burns looks on. Credit: Kristal Dixon
Defendant John Michael Taylor listens as Magistrate Court Judge Greg Douds explains the purpose of the hearing as his attorney Daran Burns looks on. Credit: Kristal Dixon
The three individuals who are charged with allegedly killing a Woodstock man inside his home made their first court appearance at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center on Thursday.

Suspects Benson Kyle Lloyd, 28, of Jasper, John Michael Taylor, 27, of Acworth and Krystle Gail Taylor, 27, of Dawsonville each appeared individually before Cherokee County Chief Associate Magistrate Judge Gregory Douds to review their rights and to make sure they understood the charges against them.

All three have been charged with felony murder in the death of Christopher Pierce, 47, who was found deceased Sunday evening inside his home at 147 Misty Hollow Way.

Each of the suspects were quiet and responded with either "yes" or "no" when Douds asked them questions. 

Lloyd, who was arrested on Wednesday while hitting golf balls at the PGA Tour Superstore in Kennesaw, was the first to appear before Douds.  

"I want to stress the importance of exercising your right to remain silent," Douds told Lloyd, who is being represented by Woodstock attorney Anthony Morgese.

Douds reiterated the same point to the other two suspects, who were arrested on Tuesday in Dawson County. Krystle Taylor is being represented by Jonathan Kessler and Cory DeBord. John Michael Taylor is being represented by Canton attorneys Daran Burns and Phillip Price.

"You are in good hands here," Douds told Krystle Taylor, referencing her attorneys.

The judge also told John Michael Taylor that it was important for him to understand his right to remain silent, noting he would be "really hurting" himself if he were to discuss the case with anyone other than his lawyer.

All three suspects are set to be arraigned in Cherokee County Superior Court on Jan. 17, 2014, where they will either plead guilty or not guilty. 

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