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Mission Resident Held For Questioning In Stabbing Death

August 22, 1985

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A man wanted on murder charges in an April throat-slashing was arrested Wednesday at the scene of a similar slaying as authorities investigated a series of attacks against the city’s street people.

As Thomas Greeley Laws was arrested, police taped his left hand into a brown paper bag to preserve evidence in the slaying of Sam Foutch, 46, whose bloody body was found earlier in the day.

Laws, 59, who listed his address as the Union Mission, was being held on $15,000 bond in the April slaying of Gordon Charles Lambert, 52, said Homicide Lt. Pat Griffin.

Lambert’s body was found under a pile of blankets and clothing on April 12. Laws had been charged in that slaying, but the charges were dropped after investigators had trouble supporting their case.

″At the time, witnesses that we had had left town and they were not available for the court hearing,″ said Griffin.

Authorities then presented the case to a grand jury and obtained an indictment.

Griffin said Laws had been sought since the grand jury returned the indictment naming him in the Lambert slaying, and that the he was being questioned about the Foutch slaying but had not been charged.

″He just happens to be around dead people a lot,″ Griffin said.

Foutch’s body was found lying face down surrounded by pools of blood. Police said they also found a pair of bloody jeans, a bloody pocket knife and a white handkerchief near the body.

″During a routine canvassing of the neighborhood, we discovered Mr. Laws and recognized him as having an outstanding murder warrant,″ Griffin said.

The officer declined to answer questions on whether the evidence on Laws’ hand was blood.

″He had some physical evidence on his hand that we didn’t want him to wash off before we could get the proper testing done on it,″ Griffin said. ″That’s part of our investigation, but it doesn’t take too much sense to figure out what it is.″

Griffin said authorities are seeking another ″street person″ for questioning in Wednesday’s death.

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