Rockdale County

Woman accused of stabbing partner to death, firing at officers during chase

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — A metro Atlanta woman is accused of stabbing another woman to death at a Rockdale County motel and firing at officers during a chase. It happened at a Motel 6 in Conyers.

Right after the murder, a statewide alert helped authorities in another part of the state catch the murder suspect, 42-year-old Joyce Marie Lewis-Pelzer.

The alert also sparked new attention being put on the disappearance of another woman seven years ago.

Last November, Channel 2 Action News followed up on the disappearance of Shawndell McLeod out of DeKalb County that is being investigated as a homicide.

While looking into Lewis-Pelzer, Channel 2's Matt Johnson found DeKalb court records that show McLeod took out a protective order against Lewis-Pelzer two months before the disappearance.

Lewis-Pelzer is recovering at a south Georgia hospital after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said she led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Turner County.


"Probably eight or nine minutes from mile marker 94 to mile marker 84 -- 10-miles stretch and it reached speeds of 110 miles per hour," Sheriff Billy Hancock said.

Deputies in Crisp County returned fire when she shot at them on I-75 Monday night.

Authorities said she tried to head to Florida after stabbing her partner.

A statewide alert helped a state trooper locate her car and attempt to make a traffic stop before authorities said Lewis-Pelzer kept going.

It took two PIT maneuvers to stop her and the GBI said she fired at least one shot from her car toward deputies.

As for the McLeod case, a Conyers police spokesperson said they're working with another department to look at the suspect further to determine her connection to an additional murder.

The family of the victim at the motel is out of state and have not been notified of her death as of late Monday night.

The accused killer has multiple domestic violence arrests in both DeKalb and Fulton counties.