Woman charged in Johnston County double murder gets $1 million bond

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – A woman charged as an accessory in the brutal Johnston County double murder was given a $1 million bond at a Friday court appearance.

Tara Wilson
Tara Wilson

Tara Nicole Wilson, of Dunn, is charged with accessory after the fact, and Gerald Thomas Paul Jr., of Erwin, is charged with killing Matt Jones and Jessica Pyatte.

Wilson’s attorney attempted to get her bond lowered but a judge denied the request.

Prosecutors claimed Wilson destroyed and hid evidence that was used to commit the murders.

Wilson’s parents were in court, they wouldn’t speak to CBS North Carolina. Her lawyer also refused to speak to CBS North Carolina.

The families of both Jones and Pyatte hope that through these court proceedings, justice will be served.

“If they are responsible, I hope the system gives them what they deserve. I hope with all my heart that God will forgive them for taking them two lives, because they devastated two families,” said Jessica’s grandmother, Earlene Griffin.

Jones’ fiancé made the discovery on March 10 after going to his home because she was unable to reach him all day.

Family members said Pyatte was friends with both Paul and Wilson and they lived with her just a few months ago. Paul was already being held at the Harnett County jail at the time of his arrest on charges of possessing meth.

Gerald Paul Jr.
Gerald Thomas Paul Jr.

“It’s always worse when you think that you can trust someone and it be the person that you love as a friend and trust and then they do something horrible like this,” said Blair Stevens, Jessica Pyatte’s aunt.

Matt Jones’ 2-year-old son was also found in the home. He was unharmed and is now staying with family.

Jones’ mother, Sheila Avery, told CBS North Carolina she was “happy about the arrests.”

Jones was buried Friday. A funeral for Pyatte has not been set.


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