Son, grandson charged after Henderson Co. woman dies from Airsoft gun

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 11:09 AM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office said they have arrested two family members following the deadly assault of Paulette “Paula” Clark.

On May 6 around 6:40 a.m., investigators said a 911 call was placed about an assault at a home on Moe Drive in Hendersonville. Clark suffered serious face and head trauma during the assault and was hospitalized for her injuries.

A projectile from an Airsoft gun had gone into Clark’s eye, causing damage to her brain.

Paulette “Paula” Clark
Paulette “Paula” Clark(Forest Lawn Funeral Home)

Investigators said they were told at the time that Clark’s attacker was unknown.

Clark was back at home when she died on May 13. The sheriff said the damage from the Airsoft projectile is ultimately what caused her death.

Deputies gathered evidence from the scene and interviews, ultimately arresting Clark’s son and grandson.

Austin Amos Kennedy Byrnside, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Maurice Jones Jr., 42, is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Austin Byrnside (L) and Maurice Jones Jr.
Austin Byrnside (L) and Maurice Jones Jr.(Henderson Co. Sheriff's Office)

Sheriff Lowell Griffin said the pair planned a robbery a few days before Clark was assaulted. Burnside used an Airsoft gun to carry out the attack, Griffin said.

The case remains under investigation.

Paula was a native and lifelong resident of Hendersonville and had been in the restaurant business her entire working career, according to Forest Lawn Funeral Home.

She owned Dixie Diner in Laurel Park and was beloved by many in the community.

The funeral home said Paula is survived by her husband, four children, and 18 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her family will hold a memorial service on Tuesday, May 24 at Upward Baptist Church.

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