Georgia Brothers Charged With Viciously Beating Parents, Arson

Image: Cameron Erving and Christopher Erving
Cameron Erving and Christopher Erving.Gwinnett County, Georgia, Detention Center

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By Tim Stelloh

Two brothers were charged with viciously beating and stabbing their parents in an upscale Atlanta suburb Saturday morning — and trying to burn down their home, police told NBC News.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Rich Long said officers raced to the scene in Snellville after receiving a 911 call just before 8 a.m. from Yvonne Ervin. She had managed to get to an upstairs bedroom with a phone, and she told the dispatcher that her husband, Zachary, had distracted their two sons, Christopher, 22, and Cameron, 17.

"She was stating that her sons were trying to kill her and her husband," Long said.

Cameron Erving and Christopher Erving.Gwinnett County, Georgia, Detention Center

Yvonne spent six minutes on the phone with the dispatcher. At 7:55 a.m., one of the sons could be heard entering the bedroom and asking his mother whom she was talking to.

Then, Long said, "The call goes silent."

Two minutes later, the first officers arrived at the scene and found the older son outside the home. He surrendered without a struggle, Long said.

At the same time, the garage door opened and Zachary — who had been stabbed several times and was severely beaten — stumbled out and collapsed. Inside the house, authorities found the younger brother, who surrendered, and Yvonne, who had also been beaten.

Officers immediately smelled the pungent odor of natural gas, Long said, although it was unclear whether the brothers cut a gas line or turned on all the burners in the kitchen. Either way, Long said, it was Yvonne's 911 call that probably saved her and her husband's life.

"I’m pretty sure the sons realized at this point the game was over," he said, adding that otherwise, "they would have succeeded in severely injuring [their parents] to a point where it would have been non-survivable."

Both parents were transported to a hospital, where they were expected to recover. Christopher and Cameron were each charged with two counts of first-degree arson and two counts of aggravated assault.