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HALLSBORO, NC (WWAY) — Her family thought she was missing for five days, but an elderly woman was found dead in her Columbus County home. Now her grandson is charged with her murder.

Betty Smith Pace, 75, was known as a loving and prideful woman by friends and family. She raised her grandson, Jesse Pace, who is now accused of her murder.

Betty’s son says he never thought his family would have to go through something like this.

“We came and watered the plants last week, my wife did, because we thought she had gone away,” William Barry Pace said.

Though her car was missing, Betty had not left her house in Hallsboro.

“She’d always told me when she would leave,” William said. “And I said, ‘Well, maybe she just didn’t think much of it.'”

After five days with no contact from Betty, Columbus County Sheriff’s deputies found her body Friday night inside her home. An autopsy concluded that the cause of death was a laceration in the front of Betty’s neck. Deputies say her body was also found with multiple stab wounds.

Her grandson, 29-year-old Jesse Pace, was arrested Saturday night and charged with her murder.

“She loved him with all her heart and so did he,” William said of the relationship between his mother and nephew. “I just can’t figure it out.”

Deputies say they found the keys to his Betty’s car and her credit card on Jesse.

“He had a good time with her credit card that whole week,” William said.

Jesse’s uncle says this isn’t the first time Jesse has been in trouble with the law.

“A two-year sentence for selling drugs and possession of a firearm,” William said.

He says the family has always loved Jesse and did everything they could to help him. He says he has already forgiven Jesse, but says he wants to know why his nephew would do such a thing.

Jesse Pace made his first court appearance this afternoon. He is in the Columbus County Jail with no bond.

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16 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Uncle forgives man charged with grandmother’s murder"

2015 years 9 months ago

Looks like it’s time for the family to stop loving Jesse.

Ann Barfield
2015 years 9 months ago

It is never time for a family to stop loving a family member. I am Jesse’s Aunt.When we buried my sister-in-law yesterday, I cried myself almost to death. I loved Betty Pace all my life.She was a strong christian woman, a loving and caring woman. A fantastic influence in my life. I already miss her tremendously, and it will only get worse. Betty loved Jesse with all her heart. She raised him as her own son. Dont you dare to EVER advise any family to stop loving a family member!!! I’m mad-hurt-and confused, but I still love Jesse,when we cease to love we are doomed. I would love to beat the devil out of Jesse, but I will always love him.

Family Member
2015 years 9 months ago

How do you just stop loving your family member? OMG doesnt anyone understand OUR family is hurt is every direction. Your advice is unwanted or needed. Our family is loving and forgiving. Are we mad? Yes Hurt? Yes! Shocked? Yes Devistated? Yes. But we are Christians. And we will maintain with God’s mercy!!

2015 years 9 months ago

obviously he needs help. and no matter what your family does you will still love them. you might be devestated over what they do, but you dont stop loving them. kind of like how Christ feels about us. and i am sure glad He doesnt stop loving us. will be praying for this guy and his family.

2015 years 9 months ago

…however, the “blood is thicker than water” adage perseveres. This man will continue to cause strife, pain and turmoil for his entire family as they “…forgive him” for the brutal and cold-blooded murder of his wonderful grandmother.

I have an ex-stepson with this very same propensity and I fully expect to read a similar story about him in the future. He takes great joy in destroying anything within his access, especially from his immediate family, yet they embrace him with love, happiness and “forgiveness”. That whole set of metrics was heavily responsible for the demise of my marriage. I now consider myself extremely lucky to NOT be a part of that.

2015 years 9 months ago

How do we stop loving????? let me see the best way to answer this question… Brutally murder a beloved elderly family member of mine. There you go.. thats how i stop loving someone in my family. ITS NOT THAT HARD!!

Guest Nellie Rising
2015 years 9 months ago

I am first cousin to Betty Pace.I loved Betty and her husband “Bill” from childhood. She was one of those adults that really understood kids and you could talk to her, tell her anything and she would never tell. After becoming an adult I learned to love her for adult reasons. She was a loving and giving person never too tired or busy to lend a helping hand or to listen to your problem. She will be missed by all that knew her. I am not here to judge anyone that is God’s place not mine. I am sure that when Jesse realizes what he has done, he will be in more pain than I could ever put him in. I do know what he did will cause everyone that knew Betty pain but Jesse will be in more pain than any of us. I have had to forgive the person that killed my son and I am not sure who that was. I still forgive them because that is the only way I could find peace. Betty leaves behind many friends and family members that will remember her with love. Pray for all her friends and family members that they can forgive Jesse and move on as Betty would want them to.

Summer Donaldson
2015 years 9 months ago

My uncle is not a sociopath, you must not know him well. My uncle was a great, down to earth person that anyone could’ve gotten along with, it really pisses me off when you, and many other people try to tell me who my uncle is. You think you know him? My uncle is not a dangerous man, he has a sister, mom, niece, nephew and a son that he absolutely loves. Thank you very much, you’re probably some fat slob who sits at home all day & makes fun of people, well let me tell you something, family always sticks together, so if you wanna say something about my family, how about you man up, and tell his family, instead of posting it where no one can see it. Have a great life jerk off. (;

Aj elliott
2015 years 9 months ago

Yeah, I know Jesse very well and also know a dangerous man when I see one. He is a complete sociopath who should never be released from prision. If he wants my forgiveness he could start by telling the truth about what happend that day at granny’s house, but NO, he wants to try and get out of it somehow. Hey, Jay, take some responsibilty for once and own up to your actions. Tell us the truth!!

Aj Elliott
2015 years 9 months ago

He was my family. He is my son-in-law who beat my daughter 5 days before he killed his grandmother! He is a dangerous man and is exactly where he needs to be. You are an idiot. How’s that for manning up!

former co
2015 years 9 months ago

I have to admit, this was a shock to me. I worked at the correctional center Jesse was at. And he adored his grandma. I am so sorry for your family’s loss at this time. I don’t know what Jesse was on when he did this, but it had to have been something. When incarcerated and he was sober; she was his biggest support. I hate to say this at this time, but when he is in clear thought he is going to need family, he is going to need support. I know how much he loved her and she him.

Just know your family is in my thoughts and prayers, I am so sorry.

2015 years 9 months ago

…is knowing when it’s time to walk away from a toxic, destructive relationship. Many priests and ministers, however, will advise you to “recognize them by their fruits” and advise that getting away from that person is the only way to preserve your sanity, your life, and perhaps even your own salvation.

We oft times wind up enabling their continued, destructive behavior by NOT walking away. They know that “you’ll always be there for me,” and accordingly they continue down their road to destruction, never changing their behavior and dragging you with them.

anonymous guest
2015 years 9 months ago

I used to work with Jessie Pace, i knew something like this was bound to happen eventually. That guy was a tickieng time bomb.

2015 years 9 months ago

I dated Jesse for 8 years. Never in a million years would I have ever believed he would do anything like this. His g-ma and him had the best relationship. She loved him and he loved her as well. Before you are quick to judge you should just pray for them. Ms. Betty was one of the most loving and caring people I have ever met. It has been years since I have talked w/ Jesse but I did talk to her on occasion. She will be missed. Prayers for the family.

2015 years 9 months ago

Jesse was a close friend this was def a shock this Was really unlike him by far. Yes he might have a past with trouble it was nuttin close to this. He really wasn’t a violent person he was actually a lovin guy. He has a wonderful baby n had a good wife. I actually was with him a month or so ago n he called n checked on his gma everyday n night. She was his saving grace his safe place. She was actually everything to him raised him I really hate this. I’ll never understand this ever. I’ll have the fam in my prayers. Whatever happened I guess u never know what drugs can do to you. Let this be a lesson drugs can make even the best of ppl do outragous n dispicable things. May GOD be with him and the remaining family members. HB

2015 years 9 months ago

I agree with you 100 percent. Obviously, some people don;t know the “Pace’s” We will get through this! I love you! Amy


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