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Nurse feared harm before she was shot

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The Spotsylvania County nurse found shot to death in her home last month had a protective order against her daughter and her daughter’s partner.

Both women now face charges stemming from the slaying.

The protective order was filed on June 23, 2012, in Spotsylvania Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Nancy “Lynne” Mercer, who was a nurse at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, wrote that she had been in a verbal altercation that turned physical that morning nearly two years ago with her daughter, Alaina Maureen Mercer, and Christina Diane Brown, whom she married in Washington, D.C.

“My daughter and her partner pushed me a foot outside of the door of their bedroom and shut the door in my face after shouting that they did not need to leave the premises or speak with me respectfully,” Lynne Mercer wrote in the order. “I had told my daughter that she was living in my home rent free and that she was to treat me respectfully and not yell at me. She told me that I was not her mother and that I was dead to her and she didn’t have to respect me.”

In the protective order, Mercer asked that her daughter and Brown not have contact with her or one of her adult sons. Mercer, 60, had six children, Pearce said, and Alaina was in the middle.

“My daughter has assaulted me in the past, has hit me and pushed me while she is living in my home. Her partner has said she would torch our house,” she wrote. “While that threat was said in anger, I do not feel free from verbal or physical abuse in my home and am uncomfortable and anxious in their presence.”

The order was to be in effect until July 6 of this year.

Lynne Mercer also noted in the order that her daughter has a psychiatric history of bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, associative identity disorder, “and becomes violent unpredictably when angry.”

Court records show that Brown was convicted of misdemeanor assault in that altercation and received a suspended 90-day jail sentence.

On May 18, Lynne Mercer’s body was found on the floor of her home at 7806 Eastridge Way around 11:40 p.m. The residence is off Hickory Ridge Road west of U.S. 1 in the Thornburg area. Deputies said the door was unlocked when they arrived.

Hospital supervisors called police after Mercer failed to show up for her 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift as a nurse at MedStar Washington. She had also worked at Mary Washington Hospital for many years, mainly in the intensive care unit, colleagues said.

Alaina Mercer and Brown, both 25, are charged with felony conspiracy to commit murder. A July 9 court hearing is scheduled.

The two were arrested Friday near their home in the 10300 block of Vintage Way in King George, according to Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office.

He said the pair attempted to “evade capture and arrest” at first, but were soon detained without incident and transported to the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

Pearce said ballistic evidence collected during the investigation matches a firearm owned by one of the women. He said he could not elaborate because the suspects have not cooperated, but Brown is facing charges in King George for buying a gun after a protective order has been issued.

An arraignment in that case is scheduled for this morning.

Alaina Mercer is also accused of concealing merchandise in King George on May 6. She is expected in court July 23 on the misdemeanor charge.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419