AP NEWS

Lawson trial set to begin on Thursday

February 20, 2019
Arron L. Lawson, 25, of Ironton, appears at the first day of a trial alleging he killed four people in Pedro, Ohio, on Feb. 12 at the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton.

IRONTON — With the final judge being appointed to a panel tasked with deciding the fate of Arron L. Lawson, the trial for the man accused in four people’s deaths is set to begin Thursday morning.

Former Clermont County Judge Alan Corbin was appointed Tuesday to join Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard, who has been overseeing the case since Lawson’s indictment, and former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Janet Burnside on a three-judge panel tasked with deciding Lawson’s fate, which could be as severe as being put to death.

Lawson last week waived his right to a jury trial in the case alleging he murdered four family members in Pedro, Ohio, in 2017.

His alleged victims — Stacey Holston, 24; her son, Devin Holston, 8; Stacey’s mother, Tammie L. McGuire, 43; and McGuire’s husband, Donald McGuire, 50; all of Pedro — were shot to death Oct. 11, 2017, at the Holstons’ Pedro home. Lawson is Tammie McGuire’s nephew.

Todd Holston, Stacey Holston’s husband, also was stabbed with a pocketknife inside the family’s trailer during the attack, but survived his injuries.

Other charges against Lawson include aggravated burglary, attempted murder and felonious assault of Todd Holston, the rape of Stacey Holston, abuse of a corpse, kidnapping of Devin Holston, tampering with evidence, theft of a motor vehicle and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.

After two weeks of jury selection, opening arguments had been slated to begin in the trial Feb. 11 but were delayed after Lawson waived his rights to a jury trial and instead elected to have a panel of three judges hear his case and decide his punishment.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson previously said he believes Lawson plans to enter a guilty plea to the charges before the judicial panel. If that occurs, prosecutors will still have to present evidence to prove the crimes were aggravated and that Lawson deserves the death penalty.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.