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ONLY ON 3: Family remembers slain mother

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WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- Following the August 2011 murder of Joan Everette her daughters said that it left a void in their heart that may never be filled. Monday her family members filled up the pews at the Columbus County Courthouse to hear testimony in the murder trial of her estranged husband Elijah Jones.

"My mother was one of a kind, a diamond in the rough," Everett's daughter Felicia Featherson said. "She was a very fun loving person."

District Attorney Jon David went to work questioning a series of witnesses about the couple’s relationship, and the days leading up to Everette’s murder.

Susan Melton, one of Everette's former coworkers, testified that two days before the murder Jones had called Everette’s work asking for information about when his estranged wife and co-worker Bobby Shipman would get off work.

Jones informed Melton that he had seen Everette and Shipman coming out of a hotel room together and wanted to confront them about it.

Melton said that since it was commonly known that the Jones had abused his estranged wife in the past they asked the Whiteville Police Department and Columbus County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the area at the end of the couple’s shifts to ensure their safety.

Investigators say that on August 19th, 2011 after days of stalking the couple Elijah Jones attacked the couple shooting them multiple times.

District Attorney Jon David entered surveillance video into evidence which showed a gold Nissan Maxima owned by Jones approach the couple at the Columbus Regional Medical Center, and Everette’s car taking off after she was mortally wounded.

"It's a pain that's severely unbearable,” said Featherson. “It's one that will never diminish from our hearts. It's a paint that we will live with forever in terms of what justice is ever served in terms of the law of the land."

Jones testified in court Monday that despite all of their differences he loved Everette and that his love for her would never allow him to kill her.

"I will never forgive him and I hope that one day god will allow me to at least bear some forgiveness but the way I feel now I hope he rots in hell,” said Featherson.

If convicted on first degree murder charges Jones faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.

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