Victim had restraining order against suspect in Kannapolis slaying

Eyewitness News learned more about the Kannapolis woman that deputies say was murdered.

They found 62-year old Shirley Pierce's lifeless body at her Kannapolis home on Evandale Road Tuesday.

Deputies said she had been stabbed.

Officers arrested Marlene Johnson Wednesday morning and charged the 61-year old with killing Pierce.

Johnson had her first appearance before a judge Wednesday. Pierce's family members showed up at the courthouse, devastated.

"I'm still shook up it's my sister," said Tony Goodnight, the victim's brother.

Court documents suggest tension had been brewing between Johnson and Pierce for years. In 2010 Pierce was granted was granted a temporary restraining order against Johnson.

She claimed Johnson physically assaulted and slapped her in the face at a fundraiser.

In 2011 Pierce applied for another restraining order and said Johnson "repeatedly punched and kicked" her outside of a Concord restaurant.

She submitted pictures of a bruised thigh and a punctured hand. She also told a judge that Johnson had accused her of having an affair with her husband.

Deputies said Johnson was later found guilty of the crime in court and judge granted Pierce a more permanent restraining order.

Wednesday deputies said they were piecing together clues and trying to determine the motive behind the murder.

"There are things we need to look for to see why this escalated," said Kevin Auten.

Deputies said that Johnson's husband and Pierce worked together at a local textile mill.

Johnson is in jail with no bond.

Her next court appearance has been scheduled for next week.
Comments on this article