Final jury selection delayed in start of quadruple homicide trial
IRONTON, Ohio — Final jury selection was delayed Monday in a Pedro, Ohio, quadruple homicide case being held at the Lawrence County Courthouse.
Arron L. Lawson, 24, of Township Road 1051, Ironton, faces four counts alleging aggravated murder in the 2017 death of four individuals.
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’ home.
If found guilty for those deaths, Lawson faces a penalty of death.
Todd Holston, also was stabbed with a pocketknife inside the family’s trailer during the attack, but survived his injuries.
For other allegations, Lawson also was charged with 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.
Following the killings, Lawson is accused of having fled the scene. A manhunt involving more than 100 Tri-State law enforcement officers lasted for 36 hours before he was arrested along County Road 52.
Lawson appeared in court Monday in a button-down shirt with his long locks of hair and long beard, which had been shaved shortly after his arrest, growing back to their original state.
The trial is expected to last several weeks. The jury will be sequestered from the outside world during deliberations.
Monday started with Judge Andy Ballard ruling in final motions and discussing some juror issues before bringing in the remaining jurors for the final selection. After about 20 minutes, however, an undisclosed issue occurred and court was delayed until afternoon.
About 50 potential jurors will be cut Monday to the final 12, with a couple alternatives. Dozens more had been cut during previous jury selection, which started Jan. 28.
Each side will be given an hour and a half for opening arguments after the jury is seated; however, Kirk A. McVay, assistant state public defender, said he only would need 15 minutes. Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson represents the state on the case.
At one point it is expected the jury will be taken to view the locations of where the alleged crimes took place. McVey said his client did not wish to attend that.
Ohio death penalty laws require a death penalty case to be a bifurcated trial. The first part of the trial will focus on his guilt or innocence.
If found guilty, Lawson will face a second trial in which the same jury will recommend a penalty or life in prison or death.
Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.