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Openings in Lawson trial begin Tuesday

Final jurors selected, several motions heard on Monday

Opening statements in the trial for a man accused of murdering four people will begin Tuesday morning in the courtroom of Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard, after the final jury selection was completed Monday afternoon at the courthouse.

Arron Lee Lawson, 24, of Pedro, is accused of the Oct. 11, 2017 shooting deaths of husband and wife Donald McGuire, 50, and Tammie L. McGuire, 43, both of 15830 State Route 93, Pedro, Stacey N. Jackson, 25, and her son, Devin Holston, 8, of 15497 State Route 93, Pedro. The murders happened at a house trailer at 15497 State Route 93. Stacey N. Jackson was Lawson’s cousin and he was a nephew of the McGuires.

Monday morning began with several motions heard by Ballard. The motions that were approved included allowing the jury will see the crime scene, excluding people who fairly consider mitigating evidence or people who would automatically vote for the death penalty if a guilty verdict is reached.

A motion limiting access to law enforcement records was denied, as was a motion prohibiting victim impact statements.
Monday afternoon, the final jury pool was whittled down from 50 people to 12 jurors and four alternate jurors after a nearly four-hour process in the courtroom. The jury will be sequestered from media coverage of the trial.

Lawson is facing 13 charges including four counts of aggravated murder, all unclassified felonies, one count attempted murder, a first-degree felony, one count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, one count of rape, a fifth-degree first degree felony, one count of abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony, one count of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, one count of kidnapping, a first-degree felony, one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, one count of theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a felony of the third-degree.

The court has blocked off one month for the trial because the state is seeking the death penalty against Lawson. The first part of the trial will determine Lawson’s innocence or guilt and the second part will be, if Lawson is found guilty on the murder charges, for the jury to determine if the death penalty applies in this case.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said that opening statements should start sometime between 8:30-9 a.m. Tuesday, followed by evidence.

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Tribune Reporter Dustin Melchior also contributed to this story