Procession route heading back to Cedartown on Highway 278, will take Highway 27 bypass to Oak Grove Cemetery
The funeral for Det. Kristen Hearne will begin at 2 p.m. today at Victory Baptist Church, and hundreds are expected to be on hand to mourn the loss of the first ever Polk County Police Officer killed in the line of duty.
Hearne, a five-year veteran of the Polk County Police Department, will be escorted to Oak Grove Cemetery in Cedartown by law enforcement for a brief graveside service.
For those who can't make it to the funeral to honor Det. Hearne but wish to stand alongside the procession route, officials will be escorting her to Oak Grove Cemetery down Highway 278 and along the Highway 27 bypass onto Highway 27 north.
Schools in Cedartown will begin letting out at 1:45 p.m. with elementary students heading home first in order to avoid any traffic issues with the procession, followed by Cedartown Middle School at 2 p.m., and Cedartown High School at 2:15 p.m.
Services honoring Hearne's life come a day after the opening of proceedings in Superior Court Judge Michael Murphy's courtroom, where District Attorney Jack Browning announced that he would seek the death penalty against Seth Brandon Spangler and Samantha Michelle Roof as multiple charges in the shooting death were read off.
Law enforcement and Hearne's family packed the courtroom, and once court adjourned the parents of Aragon Police Lt. Matt Hearne, Det. Hearne's husband, spoke to news media.
The Rev. Chris and Marie Hearne said that their daughter in law was a treasured member of the family, and completely devoted to her son Isaac.
Rev. Hearne related the story of how Det. Hearne and Lt. Hearne had tried for several years to have a child, and that one day in church with a visiting pastor who told the story of Hannah, who prayed to God to give her a son and that she would deliver him back to his service.
"During the invitation time, I heard Kristen praying the same prayer. Little did we know and little did she know that she was pregnant with Isaac at the time," he said.
He added that Isaac, who came into the world months later not breathing, was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit and that during that time, Rev. Hearne and his wife heard the same prayer again.
"That's the kind of person Kristen was, she was a giving person," Hearne said. "She was a loving mother, she was a great mother. Isaac was her life."
"We're going to miss her, but her memory will live on," Hearne added. "We'll never, ever not tell Isaac about his mama and what kind of person she was."
Hearne's father and mother in law also told reporters that thus far, they were happy with the announcements they heard in court on Monday.
" Justice is not swift enough for me," Marie Hearne added.
They also accept that they must let the justice system play out, and that it might be some time before the case is resolved, Rev. Hearne said.
Marie Hearne also said that last Friday, Sept. 29, she received the call she hoped she never would, having always kept her cell phone next to her just in case.
"When you have a son and daughter in law in law enforcement, you don't want to hear officer down," she said.
They added that though their son is on a roller coaster, he's been able to keep perspective and ensure that their son Isaac is receiving the love he needs at this time too as both mourn the loss of their mother and wife.
"She gave her life totally to Isaac. She loved her family, she loved her home, she loved her job, and she loved everybody. When she walked into a room you could see that Kristen was in the room. She made herself known. She was a wonderful person," Rev. Hearne said.