Quadruple murder suspect enters not guilty plea

Published 12:52 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

No bond continued, pretrial set for two weeks

Arron Lawson, 23, of Pedro, suspect in a quadruple homicide in Decatur Township last Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to all 13 charges against him in Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard’s courtroom Friday during his arraignment.

Lawson is accused of killing husband and wife, Donald McGuire, 50, Tammie McGuire, 43, their daughter, Stacey Jackson Holston, 25, and her 8-year-old son, Devin Holston.

Judge Ballard read the charges listed on Lawson’s indictment, which include four counts Aggravated Murder, all unclassified felonies; one count Attempted Murder, a first-degree felony; one count Felonious Assault, a second-degree felony; one count Aggravated Burglary, a first-degree felony; one count Rape, a first-degree felony; one count Abuse of a Corpse, a fifth-degree felony; one count Kidnapping, a first-degree felony; one count Tampering with Evidence, a third-degree felony; one count Theft of a Motor Vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; and one count Failure to Comply with the Order or Signal of a Police Officer, a third-degree felony.

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All four Aggravated Murder charges, and a few other charges, also carry several specifications. Read more about the charges and specifications of the indictment here https://www.irontontribune.com/2017/10/18/suspect-in-quadruple-homicide-indicted-by-grand-jury/

The four Aggravated Murder charges with the specifications carry a maximum sentence of death by lethal injection, with the other charges carrying several year prison sentences if convicted.

Lawson and his defense counsel indicated that he understood the charges against him and the penalties associated with such.

The state is represented by Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson, who said he intends to pursue the death penalty in this case, and Angela Canepa, of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecutor’s Unit.

Representing Lawson are Kirk McVay, assistant Ohio state public defender, of Columbus, as lead counsel, and attorneys Warren Morford and Gene Meadows. McVay is serving as lead counsel because he is certified to take on Ohio capital punishment cases.

Under Ohio law, a trial is required within 90 days of the arraignent. However, Lawson waived this right to allow sufficient time for defense counsel and the state to get everything in order before the trial begins.

Judge Ballard continued no bond previously set at Ironton Municipal Court, and set pretrial for two weeks.