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Third suspect arrested in New Year's Day murder of Columbus Co. mom

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Two men and one woman are in jail charged with murdering a woman in Columbus County early New Year's Day.

The Sheriff's Office says Derrick Devon Pierce, 29, Antwan Jahmal Johnson, 30, and Amanda Kay Canady, 25, are charged with the murder of Keshia April Ward, 31, of Hallsboro.

Investigators say her children found Ward's body in their home on Bussey Road yesterday afternoon. Ward's boyfriend, Johnny Lee Tyler, 31, had also been beaten and was taken to the hospital.

Investigators believe the attacks happened early yesterday as the children, who were unharmed, slept in the house. Deputies say there were no signs of forced entry.

Investigators have not yet released a cause of death for Ward. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

According to the Department of Corrections website, Johnson was released from prison in July after serving time for credit card theft, assault on an officer and DWI. His criminal record includes convictions for larceny, breaking and entering and drug possession among other crimes. Record show Pierce was convicted in 2007 for drug possession and carrying a concealed weapon.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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REALLY

I am all for responsibility for what one does but for those who are justifying this by asking about victims. you have no idea what has actually happened here and how bad it is, no one deserves what occurred here least of all these children who found there mother dead in bed. According to 1 news report beaten beyond recognition, think about that, and try to imagine being her child or her parent who has to deal with that.

I hear you GRR

Derrick Pierce was out on bond awaiting trial for other charges in Columbus Co., including a 2012 Flee to Elude Arrest, Trafficking Pills, and another case in 2013 where he attacked somebody with an ax handle, causing serious injury. Now this.

Hate it for the family

I hate it so badly for the family that lost a daughter, sister, or mom because of this senseless crime. I hate that it took the death of this young lady to hopefully, FINALLY get this thug Antwan Johnson off the street. He has been going around this area for years terrorizing innocent citizens. I have no idea why he was continuing to get out of jail, but in any case maybe the DA and or the judges won't be so quick to release him this time.

Shut it up grr

You sound like a honest idiot! A dorky old woman that only know what she halfway ease drop on! Grab a life and get off the front porch rocking chair!

Antwan was living in Winston

Antwan was living in Winston salem raging dedtruction there and was out on bond for felony assault when this tragedy happened. He is due in court february 14 for
arrangment s

Prayers to this children

Just a sad story all around, my heart goes out to the children. May they have the peace they so deserve. Prayers to this whole community. May you have peace at this sad time.

WWAY, I am just curious,did

WWAY, I am just curious,did the "victims" have a wrap sheet?

VICTIM WRAP SHEET?

THE VICTIMS WERE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY. THEY ARE NOT PERFECT, BUT THEY HAVE NEVER DONE ANY VIOLENCE AGAINST OR HARMED ANYONE.
THEY DON'T HAVE ASSAULT,MURDER, RAPE OR DRUG CHARGES AGAINST THEM.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE VICTIMS AND ANYONE WHO ASKS ABOUT A VICTIMS WRAP SHEET IS LOOKING TO JUSTIFY MURDER!

HOW DOES ANYTHING A VICTIM HAS DONE IN THE PAST, THOUGH THERE IS NO CRIMINAL ACT THAT JOHNNY AND KEISHA HAVE EVER DONE THAT I AM AWARE OF, EVEN WEIGH INTO THIS AT ALL?

BAD CHOICE OF FRIENDS, YES. BAD JUDGEMENT AT TIMES, YES. ANYTHING THAT EXCUSES BEATING TO DEATH AND BEING LEFT TO DIE, BEING FOUND BY THEIR CHILDREN, NO. THEY WERE LOVED BY MANY, EVEN WITH SOME MINOR IMPERFECTIONS AND LACK OF JUDGEMENT.

FOCUS ON THE PERPETRATORS, THEY ARE THE REAL MENACE TO SOCIETY. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO MURDERED A WOMAN IN COLD BLOOD.

Not that it has any bearing

Not that it has any bearing on the crime, but there is a Johnny Lee Tyler with one conviction in NC for misdemeanor larceny, according to the NCDOC website. A public search also shows that he has no pending court appearnces. Keshia Ward has no record with the DOC nor does she have any pending court appearances, according to what the public has access to online.

Keisha is and will always be loved

The victims in this crime has nothing to do with why this senseless crime taking place. Everyone who has added comments on this page who do not know Keisha Ward or Johnny Tyler and do not know what really happened needs to think the family, friends and loved ones who do read the comments. Both of these victims of a senseless crime were close and dear to my heart. Their children and loved ones read these comments and it breaks their hearts to read false accusations about two of the most wonderful people I have ever known. They loved each other and their children. Please do not post comments that you do not know nothing about.

reply

I am a very conservative person, who believes crimes should be punished, but what happened to the 2 victims u refer to should not have happened to anyone whatever their crimes, and the home victims who were in the home, found there mother beaten to death and will have to live with this certainly don't have a wrap sheet.

What in the world

does that have to do with a murder victim and a beating victim?

Trying to build a case for the defense?

What next? Charges of racial profiling?

To surfer boy

Why can't I be curious? Also, where did the mother work?

if you are going

to be a time waster, at least be specific.

Which Mother.

As to being curious, why not use your time and research the answers yourself?

But then again, what is your point?

Absolute TRASH

Get these thugs out of society!!!!!! If they are guilty, give them the same justice they gave this poor woman...the DEATH PENALTY!!!

Another drug related

Another drug related killing. You don't just invite these type of people into your house for bible study.

STOP SPECULATING. THESE WERE MY FAMILY MEMBERS. YOU ARE WRONG!

JOHHNY AND KEISHA ARE/WERE KIND PEOPLE, AND A LITTLE NAIVE. THEY DID USE BAD JUDGEMENT, OF THAT THERE IS NO DOUBT. THEY LOANED THEIR TRUCK TO THESE MEN FROM TIME TO TIME BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE ONE OF THEIR OWN. IT NEVER CROSSED THEIR MIND THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE CAPABLE OF THIS HORRIFIC TYPE OF CRIME.

I AM A FAMILY MEMBER OF THESE TWO. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT KEISHA REFUSED TO LOAN THEM THE TRAILBLAZER FOR USE AND THEIR WAS AN ARGUMENT THAT ENSUED (SEEMS THAT THE MEN FELT ENTITLED TO USE THE TRUCK). THEY LEFT AND LATER CAME BACK WITH THE WHITE WOMAN SO THAT SHE COULD BEAT KEISHA UP AND THINGS PROGRESSED FROM THAT POINT.

People don't know what they are talking about

THIS WAS NOT A DRUG RELATED CRIME!!!!!!!! PLEASE STOP PUTTING TRASH ABOUT SOMEONE THAT WAS LOVED ON HERE. OBVIOUSLY YOU DO NOT KNOW THESE PEOPLE OR THE SITUATION OR YOU WOULD KNOW IT WAS NOT A DRUG RELATED CRIME. THE FAMILY READS THESE COMMENTS AND WE ARE ALREADY HURTING FROM LOOSEING AN ANGEL THAT WAS ONE OF A KIND, PLEASE, PLEASE STOP!!!!!!

Keshia was a great person

Keshia was a great person and she will be missed and to the people talking about her and drugs you really don't know her! She was a great friend and even better mom. My heart goes out to her children and how dare you ppl post comments when you don't even know her. And if you did know her you wouldn't be buying into the "drug related" BS ppl are talking about. Ive known her since I was 16 and I for one am going to miss her. She was always here for me when I needed a friend and her door was always open when I needed a place to stay. Love you girl and may you rest in peace!

Its amazing how the little

Its amazing how the little old wheezing guy on oxygen gets snatched off the street for selling his pain pills to pay his cable bill, when somebody like Antwan, flashing a gun in his crimes, just gets yet more probation.
Should the focus be on the drugs, or the violent dangerous criminals selling them?

Now you know

Now you all know the poor old guy they pinched for selling pills was more of a threat!! I bet these pillars of society have been locked up before and probably snitched so they got a pass!! Now a life is lost. Disgusting all the way around.

Learned anything

Alright, justice system, they've proved they can not live in society and contribute. Based on their previous records, don't you think you can keep them off the streets this time?

the just-us system? we as a society

we the so-call? society do not contribute to each-one until ti hits home when we all can see justice to say we all know right form wrong and justice cant see p.s love each other P.S?