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Bond Denied in Fatal Custody Swap

But a Fulton judge dismissed two felony child cruelty counts after prosecutors could not present conclusive evidence that the children of Shannon Lawrence and Christopher Erdman were present during the shooting.

Despite pleas for his release by his mother and father, was denied bond today in Fulton County Superior Court.

Christopher M. Erdman will remain in the Fulton County Jail until at least Aug. 10 when Judge Karen Woodson set his next court date.

Erdman is charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the . Woodson dismissed two felony child cruelty counts after prosecutors could not present conclusive evidence that the couple’s two children had been present during the shooting.

During a lengthy hearing attended by the parents, family and friends of Erdman and Lawrence, defense attorney Stanley Constant sought to bolster Erdman’s contention that he shot Lawrence in self defense after she attacked him with a six-inch knife in the .

Police detective Sgt. CS Barstow testified that about 1:45 p.m. a witness called 911 and said when he heard four gunshots he looked out the window of a church building and saw a “white male with red hair with blood on his forearms picking up a sandal and putting it in a white truck.”

About an hour later police were notified that Erdman and his father had arrived at the emergency room of Northside Hospital-Forsyth in Cumming with Lawrence’s body, Barstow said. Lawrence had been shot four times, Barstow said.

Spent rounds from two shots fired into Lawrence’s left cheek were found embedded in the pavement of the parking lot, he said.  Barstow said the evidence is consistent with those shots being fired after Lawrence was lying on the ground.

Questioned by police at the hospital Erdman’s father, Michael H. Erdman, said his son told him that Lawrence had attacked his son with a knife, but he refused to tell officers where the children, saying only “they were safe,” Barstow said. The elder Erdman would not say anything further when taken to Milton Police headquarters for questioning, Barstow said.

Testifying today Michael Erdman said his son and Lawrence had periodic “spats” during the years they lived with him.

But , Michael Erdman said his son loved Lawrence and his children.

“He loved those kids,” Michael Erdman said. “Next to Shannon those kids were number one in his life.”

The couple's children are Emma Catherine Marie Erdman, who turned three on June 25 and Peter, who turned one the day before his mother’s funeral.

Under cross examination by Assistant District Attorney Jack Barrs, Erdman said .

Erdman said both sets of grandparents initially attended the swaps, but stopped participating after several incidents of discord between his son and Lawrence’s mother and father.

"I just don't know if that would have happened if I had been there," Erdman said. "I just don't know."

rlawrence July 14, 2011 at 01:04 PM
The story is not about the elder erdman's emotional ranting as written in the referenced article above; it was that finally the public gets to know the facts of how Shannon died. Self defense? She was executed while lying on the ground, after being hit with two debilitating shots in the hip and the shoulder, with the children present! "He loved the kids."?? Sure, he loved them so much he brutally murdered their mother at a scheduled custody swap, threw her in the back of his pickup truck like a trophy deer carcass and went to drop off the kids to his mommy and daddy while her blood dripped out of the back of the truck bed on the driveway as he left the parking lot of the scene of the crime. Then he took the body to a hospital an hour later instead of calling police immediately at the scene. This was the testimony cited today in court by the Milton Police Dept. of the events of that day. Why is the news not reporting the heinous nature of this crime? This was not a lover’s “spat”; this was an execution. Further, the Protective Consent Order clearly states supervised visitation in it's own titled paragraph. And this guy thinks it was "optional"? The paragraph they cited in court was about "Transportation"; it says the parents "may" be involved. Obviously, someone should have been involved, as even the elder erdman admitted in his testimony. He says, "I just don't know", but his face was laden with regret. That is the type of reporting that should be done.
Deborah July 14, 2011 at 02:19 PM
The children weren't present?!?!?!? The three-year-old and one-year-old were taking a walk?! Shannon took the children to a custody swap and Erdman ended up with them! Of course they were present! Common Sense!!!
Dave Lawrence July 14, 2011 at 05:20 PM
"prosecutors could not present conclusive evidence that the couple’s two children had been present" That is absolutely ridiculous! Like Deborah above said ...Some times I wonder if the legal system is without common sense....not much doubt here
Rodney Thrash July 14, 2011 at 09:22 PM
New article: http://canton-ga.patch.com/articles/slain-canton-womans-family-reacts-to-testimony
Rodney Thrash July 14, 2011 at 09:23 PM
New article: http://canton-ga.patch.com/articles/slain-canton-womans-family-reacts-to-testimony
Rodney Thrash July 14, 2011 at 09:23 PM
New article: http://canton-ga.patch.com/articles/slain-canton-womans-family-reacts-to-testimony
kathiv July 14, 2011 at 11:30 PM
So let me get this straight, they were there to do a custody swap but the kids may or may not have been there? Plus it was self defense? A gun against a 6 inch knife? Ya OK I'm the ToothFairy!! Rest in heavenly peace Sha na na. MOM2
Kim Fitzgerald July 15, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Are there NO cameras in a parking lot of a Bank?????? I can't believe that. What a COWARD to even come up with such lies. What a COWARD to do that in front of those babies. "LOVE" I don't think so Mr. Erdman.
Justice July 16, 2011 at 06:53 PM
There were a few facts the reporters forgot to mention in Wednesday's hearing. Fact: Shots were fired at 2:02 pm. Chris Arrived at the hospital at 2:45 after he went to his daddy's home, changed clothes, cleaned the blood that was reported by an eye witness up to his elbows off his body and left the gun at home. 43 minutes elapsed. Fact: Chris has been arrested in Forsyth County on simple assault, simple battery and stalking charges last June 2010. Fact: chris was arrested in March 2011 on drug posession charges. Fact: His own family is afraid of him and requested the courts retain him in jail. My opinion: 45 minutes is plenty of time to tamper with critical evidence in order to make this exectuion look like a self defense plea to save his own skin. Self Defense would have been the two body shots but Chris took this one step farther, he put two bullets in Shannon's brain at close range. That is not self defense. that is murder. Question? if this is self defense why did he nor his mom or dad who were home and present at his time of arrival at daddy's home dial 911?????????
HearsayKiller January 23, 2013 at 08:15 PM
@rlawrence Were you there? How can you speak so fervently on matters?

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