Emotions ran high after Christopher M. Erdman, a 25-year-old Cumming man charged in the June 5 shooting death of Shannon Lawrence, was . Erdman was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the death of his children's mother.
Members of the Lawrence family as well as numerous friends attended the hearing.
“Shannon had many representing her," her mother, Diana Macksey, said in an e-mail to Patch. "I believe there were 14 friends and witnesses available if needed. Her whole family was there and we are united together to help us all get through this."
Judge Karen Woodson dismissed two felony child cruelty counts after prosecutors could not present conclusive evidence that the couple’s two children, Emma and Peter, had been present during the shooting.
Emma, who turned three on June 25 and Peter, who turned one the day before his mother’s funeral, are “doing great, they are surrounded by a lot of love," Macksey said. "Our church, friends, family and neighbors have been extremely generous to us. Every need they [the children] may have is being met and then more. has been wonderful as well.
"I miss my Shannon terribly but she gave us a wonderful gift of her babies and that is what helps all of us get through each day. I see her smile and her joy in them and through them she will live on."
When asked how it felt to see Erdman, Macksey said, "Oddly, I felt nothing when he walked in the room. I am not here to judge him. My energy is better spent in other directions. He has made his own choices."
Macksey went on to share that the Lawrence and Erdman families have been ordered by the court not to have contact with one another.
Erdman’s father gave emotional testimony stating that Lawrence and Erdman had "spats." It was Christopher Erdman’s contention that he shot Lawrence in self defense after she attacked him with a six-inch knife in the parking lot of a bank in Milton during the custody exchange.
Police testimony showed that the spent rounds found embedded in the parking lot pavement were consistent with shots being fired after Lawrence fell to the ground.
Randall Lawrence, father of Shannon, said in a statement:
"The story of today was not about the elder Erdman's emotional ranting 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? Yes, he loved them so much he brutally murdered their mother in front of them, threw her in the back of his pick-up truck like a trophy deer carcass and went to drop off the kids to his mommy and daddy while her blood poured out of the back of the truck bed on the driveway as he left. Then he took the body to a hospital an hour later instead of calling police immediately. This was the testimony cited today in court by the Milton Police Department 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.
Erdman’s next court date is scheduled for Aug. 10.