Search warrants: Marlene Johnson approached Huntersville officer, professing innocence

Investigators say Marlene Johnson approached a Huntersville Police officer the day Shirley Goodnight Pierce was found dead in her home, claiming she didn’t kill Pierce and had an alibi.

A series of search warrants filed today and issued by Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators detail the whereabouts of Johnson the day of the murder and the day before.


Pierce was found dead on the morning of July 23 at her Kannapolis home by her fiance, Chuck Reeves. Pierce had been stabbed numerous times. Johnson was charged in her death about 12 hours later. The search warrants include interviews investigators had with Johnson’s friends and neighbors.

The warrants also say Johnson’s estranged husband, Ervin, had a restraining order against his wife. Ervin Johnson told a detective his wife had assaulted him in December 2008, cutting him on the hand, and he felt she was capable of more violence.

Pierce had also taken out a restraining order against Johnson, but it expired in June.

Warrants say Marlene Johnson asked the Huntersville officer if he was “trying to find her.” Johnson said she’d heard from her sister that she was the suspect in a homicide.

A close friend of Shirley Pierce told investigators that Pierce said the day before her death she was afraid Marlene Johnson was “going to do something” and that she’d been receiving hang-up phone calls from Johnson. Pierce had been receiving those calls since the restraining order she had taken against Johnson expired.

Marlene Johnson remains in the Rowan County Detention Center without a bond. A bond hearing is scheduled Wednesday.

See Tuesday’s Post for more details.

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