UPDATE | Convicted quadruple murderer Arron Lawson sentenced to death

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 2/28/19 @ 2:40 p.m.
A three-judge panel on Thursday afternoon sentenced quadruple murderer Arron Lawson to death.

Lawson was sentenced to death on each of the four aggravated charges involving the victims, as well as 59.5 years on other related charges.

He appeared calm, thanking the panel for a "fair trial." Some family members sobbed as the sentences were read.

“Thank you for giving me a fair and honest trial," Lawson said.

He faced 13 counts in the killings of Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened October 2017 along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Because it's a capital murder case, each charge had several aggravated circumstances/specifications that the prosecution still had to prove, even though Lawson already had pleaded guilty to all charges.

The case marked the first death penalty handed down in Lawrence County since the 1960s.



UPDATE 2/28/19 @ 10:50 p.m.
The fate of convicted quadruple murderer Arron Lawson is in the hands of a three-judge panel.

Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday morning in the case.

Lawson faced 13 counts in the killings of Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened October 2017 along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Because it's a capital murder case, each charge had several aggravated circumstances/specifications that the prosecution still had to prove, even though Lawson already had pleaded guilty to all charges.

The death penalty remains a possibility in the case. Lawson apologized in court earlier this week, saying he deserves life in prison.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said, “Justice for Stacey is a sentence of death. Justice for Devin is a sentence of death. Justice for Tammie is a sentence of death. Justice for Don is a sentence of death.”

Defense Attorney Kirk McVay spoke of Lawson’s troubled and unstable life.

“He’s calling out, screaming out for help. Who is listening? Who acted on any of these things?” McVay said.

We have a crew in the courtroom. Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/27/19 @ 3:45 p.m.
The defense has rested Wednesday in the case of convicted quadruple murderer Arron Lawson, our crew at the scene reports.

The last witness called by the defense was Lawson's older sister, Stephanie Bentley.

“I absolutely love my brother," Bentley testified. "We are very, very close.”

Bentley went on to testify about the living conditions she and her brother grew up around. On Tuesday, Lawson's biological mother testified that the family endured a life of poverty and instability.

Lawson faced 13 counts in the killings of Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened October 2017 along state Route 93 in Pedro.

He pleaded guilty to all charges and was found guilty by a three-judge panel on most of those charges. The death penalty remains a possibility in the case.

It appears closing arguments will start Thursday morning.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/27/19 @ 1:55 p.m.
Convicted quadruple murderer Arron Lawson could learn his fate Wednesday as the sentencing phase of his trial resumes.

The court broke for lunch just before 1:30 p.m. following testimony from a forensic psychologist.

Dr. Bob Stinson testified that Lawson was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. That means he could react with extreme -- and at times, irrational -- emotions, according to Stinson. The doctor also say Lawson would be more likely to strongly attach or detach himself from other people if he felt abandoned.

Stinson said he actually found it somewhat surprising that Lawson doesn't have a bigger criminal history.

Prosecutors pointed out that Lawson had positive people in his life, including several family members. While cross examining the doctor, the prosecution also mentioned that the notes from Lawson's first visit to a psychiatric hospital do not mention any abuse at the hands of Lawson's parents.

Lawson faced 13 counts in the killings of Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened October 2017 along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Because it's a capital murder case, each charge had several aggravated circumstances/specifications that the prosecution must still prove, even though Lawson already had pleaded guilty to all charges.

Lawson had a second stay at the psychiatric hospital, and prosecutors say that shows Lawson knew how to get help and used reason.

The admitted killer apologized Tuesday to the court, saying he is genuinely sorry for what he did.

“No way to say how truly sorry I am,” Lawson said unannounced. “I do believe I deserve life in prison ... I’m sorry for every single person that I hurt.”



UPDATE 2/27/19 @ 7:51 a.m.
Convicted quadruple murderer Arron Lawson could learn his fate today as the sentencing phase of his trial resumes.

Court is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in Lawrence County, Ohio court.

Lawson apologized Tuesday to the court, saying he is genuinely sorry for what he did.

“No way to say how truly sorry I am,” Lawson said unannounced. “I do believe I deserve life in prison ... I’m sorry for every single person that I hurt.”

Lawson also apologized to everyone in the crowded courtroom, including the victims’ family members.

Earlier On Tuesday, Lawson’s biological mother testified, telling the court a death penalty sentence would be more than she could bear.

Her emotional testimony came during the sentencing phase of the trial. On Monday, a three-judge panel found Lawson guilty of most charges in the case. The death penalty remains an option.

Carolyn Taylor, who is Lawson’s mother, was calm and matter-of-fact throughout most of her testimony – until she reflected on what the death penalty could bring. She said she’ll be there for her son “no matter what.”

Taylor added, “No parent wants to see their child go before them,” saying the death penalty would “devastate us.”

Lawson faced 13 counts in the killings of Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened October 2017 along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Because it's a capital murder case, each charge had several aggravated circumstances/specifications that the prosecution must still prove, even though Lawson already had pleaded guilty to all charges.

Taylor testified that she and her son had a tough life, talking about growing up in poverty, being married at 17 and having kids with five different men. She said Lawson lived with his father and stepmother during much of his childhood.

Taylor also said Tammie McGuire, her sister, was her best friend. During cross examination, Taylor testified that Lawson was in love with Stacey Jackson Holston, although she never suspected any type of sexual relationship at the time.

Also during testimony, Taylor said her son only remembered going to the mobile home on the day of the murders and getting into an altercation with Todd Holston who he said attacked him. Lawson told his mother his only choice was to defend himself with a pocket knife. She even believed that all the way up to less than a month ago, “There’s no way a mother would believe her son would do this.”

Todd Holston was wounded during the attacks but recovered from his injuries.

Taylor went on to say that her son, Todd Holston and Stacey Jackson Holston were all friends and she never knew of any problems. She said her son, Arron, would frequently babysit Devin Holston and Devin's 2-year-old brother Braxton.

Court adjourned around 5:30 Tuesday. The forensic psychologist is expected to start testimony at 9 a.m. Wednesday with his summary, and then prosecutors will have a chance to cross examine him.

Closing arguments could begin either Wednesday or Thursday. Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/25/19 @ 5:50 p.m.
The penalty phase on the quadruple murder trial against Arron Lawson is set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The death penalty is an option in the case.

A three-judge panel on Monday has found quadruple murder suspect Arron Lawson guilty on most of the counts he faced, according to our crew at the scene.

Because it's a capital murder case, each charge had several aggravated circumstances/specifications that the prosecution must still prove, even though Lawson already had pleaded guilty to all charges.

Lawson faced 13 counts in the killings of Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened October 2017 along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Lawson was found not guilty on a rape charge involving Stacey Jackson, as well as the aggravated circumstance of aggravated murder while committing rape.

The state also had to toss out a felonious assault charge involving another victim, Todd Holston, because it merged with an attempted murder charge involving that victim.

In effect, the three-judge panel found that the prosecution did not present enough evidence to accept a guilty plea on certain charges.

The victims' family had no comment Monday.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/25/19 @ 3:55 p.m.
A three-judge panel on Monday afternoon is deliberating the fate of quadruple murder suspect Arron Lawson.

Lawson is accused of killing Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. Devin's 2-year-old brother Braxton was in the home, but he was unharmed. The murders happened October 2017 along state Route 93 in Pedro.

During his closing argument, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson walked through the crimes outlined in each count, asking the judges to find guilt for all accounts, as well as for aggravating circumstances. He even used video clips of Lawson to prove some of these assertions.

In the defense’s closing, it was agreed there’s “sufficient evidence” but says the state didn’t prove some aspects of rape versus abuse of a corpse.

Earlier on Monday, it was revealed that Lawson legally changed his name from Arron Risner to Arron Lawson in 2000 when he was just 6 years old.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/25/19 @ 8:24 a.m.
The three judge panel deciding the fate of Arron Lawson is set to reconvene at 9 a.m. Monday morning.



UPDATE 2/22/19 @ 6 p.m.
A three-judge panel hearing a quadruple murder case is getting their first look at some key pieces of evidence and hearing new details in the case.

Prosecutors are showing the panel the gun used in the murders, a book Arron Lawson used to prop open a window the night before the crimes, a fast-food receipt, clothing and other items.

Prosecutors also say the body of Devin Holston, 8, was found in his bedroom under a pile of clothing. They say it appears he was kneeling when he was shot.

A doctor with the Montgomery County Coroner's office testified that all four victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He testified that some of the shots hit vital organs and would have likely proved fatal in themselves.

Arron Lawson pleaded guilty to all 13 counts Thursday, including four counts which bring the possibility of the death penalty.

WSAZ has a crew in the courtroom and will continue to update this story.



UPDATE 2/21/19 @ 3:48 p.m.
We are learning disturbing, new details about a quadruple murder case. During opening statements, the prosecution painted a sinister picture of what happened the day four people were killed, including a child.

Arron Lawson pleaded guilty to all charges Thursday. He faces 13 felony counts of aggravated murder, four of which bring the possibility of the death penalty, in connection with four murders in Lawrence County, Ohio in October 2017.

It happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. Devin's 2-year-old brother Braxton was in the home, but he was unharmed.

Lawson is also accused of raping Stacey, his first cousin, as well as stabbing her husband, Todd Holston, who survived the crime spree.

Prosecutors laid out a sinister story in court Thursday about how he did it.

They said Lawson used a Power Rangers book to prop open a window to the trailer the night before the murders. According to the prosecution team, Lawson waited for Todd and Devin to leave them home the next morning and went back.

Around 4:30 or 5 a.m., Lawson went into the trailer and shot Stacey three times in the chest. According to the prosecutors, the two were in a "sexual relationship" and Stacey wanted to end it.

Prosecutors say Lawson then dragged Stacey's body to Devin's bed and raped her.

The killer then took care of Braxton, the 2-year-old, for the rest of the day -- feeding him and changing his diaper.

From being at the home the day before, Lawson knew that Devin was supposed to go to his grandparents' after school. In fact, Lawson frequently babysat Devin and Braxton. So prosecutors say Lawson pretended to be Todd in order to get Devin dropped off at home.

Devin came home on the bus, according to prosecutors. Lawson told the 8-year-old to go into another room to get a PlayStation toy. He then shot the child twice -- once in the shoulder and once in the back.

In Lawson's words, he did it because the child "asked too many questions."

At some point, investigators say Todd became concerned and asked his mother-in-law, Tammie, to check on the home. Lawson's truck was hidden behind the trailer.

Tammie stayed on the phone with Todd, until he heard gunshots. Then the call dropped.

Todd then called Donald and asked him to check on the situation. Lawson shot Donald twice.

Four family members were dead and Lawson was out of ammunition when Todd got to the home a short time later. Prosecutors say Lawson jumped on Todd and stabbed him 11 times with a knife.

Investigators say Lawson took the McGuires' pickup truck to a Walmart to buy new clothes. He changed in the backseat, went back to the store to buy a DVD player and two movies, then made a stop at Taco Bell.

After the prosecution's opening statements, Lawson's defense attorney gave his own:

The defense attorney focused on Lawson's character. He said his client was sorry and remorseful. The attorney also brought up a number of other litigating factors, like poverty, family instability, and alcohol/drug abuse within the family.

His attorney also said Lawson was bullied by his brothers. They called him "Boy Cinderella" according to the defense.

Todd will be the first witness called to the stand.

After more than two weeks of jury selection, the judge dismissed the jury at Lawson's request, moments before they were to be called into the courtroom. Instead, Lawson now faces a three-judge panel.



UPDATE 2/21/19 @ 12:11 p.m.
Quadruple murder suspect Arron Lawson pleaded guilty to all charges Thursday.

The court accepted Lawson's plea just before noon. They are now recessed until approximately 12:45 p.m. when opening statements are expected to begin.

Lawson faces 13 felony counts of aggravated murder, four of which bring the possibility of the death penalty, in connection with four murders in Lawrence County, Ohio in October 2017.

Against the advice of his own lawyers, Lawson waived his right to a jury trial, instead opting for a three-judge panel.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. It happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

We have a crew at the trial.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 2/12/19 @ 9:37 a.m.
Against the advice of his own lawyers, a quadruple murder suspect waived his right to a jury trial Tuesday. He also said he plans to switch his plea to guilty.

Arron Lawson faces 13 felony counts of aggravated murder, four of which bring the possibility of the death penalty, in connection with four murders in Lawrence County, Ohio in October 2017.

After more than two weeks of jury selection, the judge dismissed the jury at Lawson's request, moments before they were to be called into the courtroom.

Instead, Lawson will now face a three-judge panel.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. It happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Lawson told the court Tuesday that he wants to switch to a guilty plea. However, an official plea change can't happen in this stage. The plea will be revisited when he is in front of the three-judge panel.

If Lawson enters a guilty plea to the panel, prosecutors would still have to prove the crimes were aggravated in order for the panel to determine if Lawson should receive the death penalty.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson told WSAZ the change in plans Tuesday was a shock and one of the biggest surprises of his career.

"This was a surprise to us," said Anderson. "We didn't anticipate this happening."

During the jury selection process Monday, there was a long delay that lasted several hours. We now know that Lawson was meeting with family at the time

Lawson told the court that his family tried to get him to reconsider his request for the panel, but after thinking it over, he wants to take his chances.

"It was a little rough because I saw my mom crying and it always plays on my heart and then after awhile I have to make a better decision for my life and not somebody else's," he told the judge.

Both his lawyers and the judge reminded the suspect that he has better odds with a jury.

Even with his decision to waive, Lawson expressed confidence in the jury.

"The jury did a lot of work to come here and I do trust them with all my heart," he said. "But I do think this is a grave decision for me and I will relinquish that right."

Judge Andy Ballard will be one of the judges on the panel. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor will appoint the other two judges who will join Ballard. In fact, Ballard said he would personally call the state Supreme Court to expedite the process. That could allow them to continue with the trial this month, possibly as early as next week.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 2/12/19 @ 9:20 a.m.
The man charged in a quadruple murder has asked to waive his right to a jury trial, just as opening arguments were set to get underway.

Arron Lawson is now expected to enter a plea to a three-judge panel.

This comes after an extensive jury selection process wrapped up Monday evening, with a jury of 9 women and 3 men seated.

If Lawson enters a guilty plea to the panel, prosecutors would still have to prove the crimes were aggravated in order for the panel to determine if Lawson should receive the death penalty.

Lawson is accused of brutally murdering four people in October 2017, including an 8-year-old boy. It happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

WSAZ has a crew in the courtroom.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 2/11/19 @ 6:15 p.m.
A jury is seated Monday evening in a quadruple murder trial in Lawrence County, our crew at the scene reports.

Arron Lawson is accused of brutally murdering four people in October 2017, including an 8-year-old boy. It happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

The jury consists of three men, nine women and four female alternates. The overall process took nearly three and a half hours.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

Afterward, a massive manhunt began for Lawson, lasting 36 hours until his capture. Lawson faces 13 felony counts, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty.

During Monday's jury selection process, there were nearly 57 potential jurors to choose from when it started early that morning. It took nearly two weeks to narrow the juror pool which started at nearly 500, then was cut down in several rounds, including an in-depth questionnaire.

Of the 57 people selected as potential jurors who showed up Monday morning, the final 16 were chosen. About 25 potential jurors were dismissed throughout the afternoon. Just before leaving, jurors received orientation and admonishment.

Opening arguments are set to get underway at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/11/19 @ 12:27 p.m.
The court is in a break from the jury selection process in a quadruple murder case.

Arron Lawson is accused of brutally murdering four people in October 2017, including an 8-year-old boy.

Jury selection resumed at 8:30 a.m. Monday in Lawrence County. About 50 potential jurors were called in. However, after an undisclosed issue, the courtroom cleared out with plans to resume at 1 p.m. Monday.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Afterward, a massive manhunt began for Lawson, lasting 36 hours until his capture. Lawson faces 13 felony counts, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty.

Prior trial dates have been delayed due to issues including the unavailability of an expert witness and the high volume of evidence.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 2/11/19 @ 6:57 a.m.
A trial for a man suspected of brutally murdering four people in October 2017, including an 8-year-old boy, will get underway in just a few hours.

The trial for Arron Lawson is set for 8:30 a.m. today, according to court officials in Lawrence County. Jury selection wrapped up Thursday.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Afterward, a massive manhunt began for Lawson, lasting 36 hours until his capture. Lawson faces 13 felony counts, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty.

Prior trial dates have been delayed due to issues including the unavailability of an expert witness and the high volume of evidence.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/7/19 @ 5 p.m.
A trial for a man suspected of brutally murdering four people in October 2017, including an 8-year-old boy, will get underway in just a few hours.

The trial for Arron Lawson is set for 8:30 a.m. today, according to court officials in Lawrence County.

Jury selection wrapped up Thursday in the case of Arron Lawson.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston. The murders happened along state Route 93 in Pedro.

Afterward, a massive manhunt began for Lawson, lasting 36 hours until his capture. Lawson faces 13 felony counts, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty.

Prior trial dates have been delayed due to issues including the unavailability of an expert witness and the high volume of evidence.

Keep checking the WSAZ App and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/11/18 @ 10:30 p.m.
It has been one year since four people, including an 8-year-old eight year old boy, were brutally murdered at a home along state Route 93 in Pedro.

As the story of that crime unfolded during those next few days, the prime suspect was Arron Lawson, 23.

Investigators say Lawson killed Donald and Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

A massive manhunt began for Lawson, lasting 36 hours until he was captured. Lawson faces 13 felony counts, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty. He is still awaiting trial.

A candlelight vigil was held Thursday night at Lake Vesuvius.



UPDATE 4/20/18 @ 2:10 p.m.
The trial date for quadruple murder suspect Arron Lawson has been delayed.

It originally was scheduled for August, and discussion about a new date will take place May 4.

Lawson could face the death penalty if convicted of some of his charges. He is accused of killing four people, including an 8-year-old boy, last October.

It happened in the Pedro area of Lawrence County. The family members were found shot to death in a home along state Route 93.

Lawson, who's from Pedro, is accused of shooting to death Donald McGuire and his wife Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, also known as Stacey Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

He faces a long list of charges in a 13-count indictment including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty.

On Friday the defense made a motion to move the trial date because of the unavailability of one of their expert witnesses.

Prosecutors say trial could start as early as October or perhaps as late as January 2019. They're blocking off an entire month for the trial.

About 50 motions were filed, and 15 were covered on Friday.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/20/18 @ 11:38 a.m.
The man accused of killing three adults and a child in the Pedro, Ohio area is back in court.

Quadruple murder suspect Arron Lawson has a pre-trial hearing Friday morning in the Lawrence County courthouse in Ironton.

The hearing is being streamed on WSAZ.com.

Lawson could face the death penalty if convicted of some of his charges. He is accused of killing four people, including an 8-year-old boy, last October.

It happened in the Pedro area of Lawrence County. The family members were found shot to death in a home along state Route 93.

Lawson, who's from Pedro, is accused of shooting to death Donald McGuire and his wife Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, also known as Stacey Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

He faces a long list of charges in a 13-count indictment including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty.



UPDATE 3/12/18 @ 1:45 p.m.
A quadruple murder suspect appeared in court Monday for a motion hearing.

A motion to dismiss the death penalty against Arron Lawson was denied.

Lawson is accused of killing four people, including an 8-year-old boy, last October.

It happened in the Pedro area of Lawrence County, Ohio. The family members were found shot to death in a home along state Route 93.

Lawson, who's from Pedro, faces a long list of charges in a 13-count indictment, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty. He is accused of shooting to death Donald McGuire and his wife Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, also known as Stacey Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

The hearing was the second of several pretrial hearings to hear motions filed by both the state and the defense in the case. The defense filed around 50.

Several of the motions heard Monday involved the jury selection process. The defense says because the case is so high profile, they want to make sure the jury selection is very careful and precise to assure no juror has any preconceived notions.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson says he expects the trial to take about a month to complete, with jury selection taking at least two weeks.

The trial is set for early August.

Lawson's next court date is scheduled at 10 a.m. April 20.



UPDATE 2/2/18 @ 5:36 p.m.
A quadruple murder suspect was back in court Friday for a motion hearing.

Arron Lawson is accused of killing four people, including an 8-year-old boy, back in October.

It happened in the Pedro area of Lawrence County, Ohio. The family members were found shot to death in a home along state Route 93.

Lawson, who's from Pedro, faces a long list of charges in a 13-count indictment, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty. He is accused of shooting to death Donald McGuire and his wife Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, also known as Stacey Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

Lawson is also accused of raping Stacey, as well as stabbing her husband, Todd Holston, who survived the crime spree.

"I think everybody's holding up rather well considering the circumstances," said Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson.

At the Feb. 2 hearing, Lawson's mom and stepmom were in the crowd, as well as family members of the victims. Stacey's sisters tell WSAZ they have not seen a shred of remorse from Lawson since the day he was taken away in handcuffs.

The court appearance was a motion hearing. To date, the defense has filed 50 motions in the trial and the prosecution has filed three motions.

Friday, the court heard four of the defense motions and two state motions.

"There's a tremendous amount discovery, there's a tremendous amount of work that goes into these before the trial," Anderson said. "I think everybody -- the judge, the prosecution and the defense are all trying to get this so we can try it in August. That is our goal."

These are called "non-evidentiary motions" and Anderson says Friday was more of a status conference to decide how the court is going to deal with those motions.

The state agreed with four of the defense's motions, "Basic motions for requesting funds for experts, that type of thing," Anderson said.

However, there are several motions the state disagreed with that will have to be argued in court.

More than a dozen motions will be heard on March 12 in the next hearing.

"Just for time sake, the court scheduled separate days to hear these motions before the trial."

In the prosecution's motions, they have asked for permission to do testing on DNA.

"There was some DNA that was collected at the scene, that in order to test the DNA, requires a complete destruction of the sample," Anderson said. "The DNA testing -- those things take time to do. We have investigators that are working on the case. The defense has hired investigators that will go back and do their own investigations."

There are also two cell phones collected at the scene that the state is wanting to extract data from. Doing so would be "destructive."

Anderson says the defense has agreed to allow the testing and the court has granted that the prosecution can move forward with it.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy motions filed by the defense is number 11: "Defendant's motion to dismiss capital components of this case due to constitutional and international law violations."

"They filed a motion to take the death penalty specifications from the indictment, to dismiss those specifications," Anderson said. "That will be a motion that's heard in March and obviously we're going to be opposed to that motion and we've written a response that we're going to file next week."

Anderson says they have set aside five weeks for the trial and anticipate it lasting that long.

A trial date has been set for Aug. 6, 2018.



UPDATE 11/3/17 @ 12:55 p.m.
A quadruple murder suspect was back in court Friday.

Arron Lawson, 23, is accused of killing four people, including an 8-year-old boy, in October.

It happened in the Pedro area of Lawrence County, Ohio. The family members were found shot to death in a home along state Route 93.

A trial date has been set for Aug. 6, 2018.

There was a massive manhunt for Lawson 36 hours after the deaths, but he was eventually caught.

Lawson was scheduled to have a pretrial hearing at 1 p.m. Friday, but didn't actually appear in the courtroom until around 3 p.m.

Lawson, who's from Pedro, faces a long list of charges in a 13-count indictment, including four which bring the possibility of the death penalty. He is accused of shooting to death Donald McGuire and his wife Tammie McGuire, along with their daughter Stacey Jackson, also known as Stacey Holston, and her son, 8-year-old Devin Holston.

Lawson is also accused of raping Stacey and stabbing her husband, Todd Holston, who survived the crime spree.

In addition to setting a trial date, the judge addressed several housekeeping matters Friday.

The judge said that the Supreme Court of Ohio has officially been made aware of the capital indictment filing: prosecutors going for the death penalty. Also, the judge ordered that future evidence be sealed -- not available to the public -- until further notice.

We’re waiting to hear from investigators about a possible motive and a more clear idea of the timeline of the murders.

The autopsy report should provide some more details.

We told you at his last hearing he went from being called Arron Lawson to requesting that the judge call him “Uh-Ron.”

Lawson also looked much different Friday. He was last seen in our coverage with long hair and a shaggy beard, but he has since shaved both.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/20/17 @ 5:57 p.m.
A quadruple murder suspect pleaded not guilty this morning at a court hearing in Lawrence County, Ohio.

The arraignment comes after a grand jury returned an indictment for four counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, aggravated burglary, rape, abuse of a corpse, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, fleeing and alluding police, and theft of a motor vehicle against Arron Lawson, 23, of Pedro.

It happened at a home along Route 93 in the Pedro area Oct. 11.

The four victims, who were all family members, are: Donald McGuire, 50; his wife Tammie McGuire, 43; their daughter Stacey Jackson Holston, 25; and Stacey's son Devin Holston, 8.

Investigators say Lawson also stabbed Devin's dad, Todd Holston, but he survived. Devin's 2-year-old brother Braxton was in the home, but he was unharmed.

The rape charges lists Stacey Jackson, also known as Stacey Holston, as the victim. Perhaps most disturbing is the abuse of a corpse charge, though the victim is not specified.

Friday Lawson pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts.

His defense also waived the right to a speedy trial so both sides could have more time to prepare.

In court, Lawson also requested that his name be pronounced Uh-Ron.

The prosecution requested that Lawson not be given a bond and the judge agreed, telling the defense counsel his team could challenge that down the road if they prove Lawson deserves a bond based on evidence.

The accused killer was emotionless throughout the hearing, only speaking in response to the judge.

"He shouldn't have emotion," said Desiree McClain, Stacey's sister. "He better not tell me sorry either cause I don't want to hear it. There's no excuses."

Desiree, along with Stacey's two other sisters Lisa Jackson and Brooke McClain, were in the courtroom Friday. Desiree told WSAZ after the hearing that seeing Lawson filled her with rage.

"It makes me sick to my stomach a bit," said Jackson.

"It definitely makes us sick to our stomach to see him, especially when he looked at us today," said Brooke. "Yesterday was really tough for us, the funerals in the same day."

"We want to know every detail of every single thing and we're here to support Stacey, Devin, mom and Don," said Desiree. "That's who we're here to support right now and Todd and Braxton right now."

The sisters, along with their brother who could not be at the hearing Friday, have been a symbol of resilience and unity.

They plan on attending as many court dates as possible.

"We lost four very caring people," said Desiree. "I mean, they were loving. They were a loving family. I loved them all very much. I mean, me and Stacey were like best friends."

They talked about Stacey's son Devin being a sweet child who only recently turned eight years old before his life was stolen.

"For his 8th birthday, instead of wanting to spend his birthday just doing like normal 8-year-old boy stuff, he wanted to take donations and cans and stuff for the hurricane," said Jackson. "He was a very caring little boy. He cared about everybody and just saw all the hurt and pain from the hurricane and just wanted to take care of everyone down there. He wasn't worried about his birthday at all which is so unusual for an 8-year-old. We lost somebody very, very, very caring."

"We lost four very caring people," echoed Desiree. "We just all need to remember Todd and Braxton at the same time too through all this. I love them both a lot, very much. I'm going to hold them close to me now more than ever."

Desiree talked about her daughter being best friends with Devin.

"They would see each other at school and play," said Desiree. "He was just a fun kid."

Sitting through these hearings is not easy, they said, but they draw strength from the family members who are now watching over them. They also have had an overwhelming amount of support from the community.

"We have each other," said Jackson. "We have a very strong bond and the community has pulled in. We have so love and support. That really backs us and keeps us going as much as we have."

The hard work that went into the 36-hour manhunt for Lawson and the investigation thus far did not go unappreciated either.

"We do want to thank law enforcement for everything that they did in finding him and just staying up all these hours and doing everything," said Desiree. "We're forever thankful for all the law enforcement and all the people helping. We're overwhelmed with joy with everything everybody's done."

The sisters tell WSAZ donations for the McGuire family can be made to the Hall Funeral Home in Proctorville. Anyone wishing to donate to Todd Holston should contact him.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said his team plans to go for the death penalty for Lawson. The maximum sentence for each aggravated murder charge is death by lethal injection.

UPDATE 10/18/17 @ 1:35 p.m.
A man accused in the murders of four people last week was indicted by a grand jury on several additional charges, including rape and abuse of a corpse, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said Wednesday.

During a news conference, Anderson announced that the grand jury returned an indictment for four counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, aggravated burglary, rape, abuse of a corpse, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, fleeing and alluding police, and theft of a motor vehicle against 23-year-old Arron Lawson of Pedro.

The rape charges lists Stacey Jackson, also known as Stacey Holston, as the victim. Perhaps most disturbing is the abuse of a corpse charge, though the victim is not specified.

They are charges which match some of what Stacey's sister Brooke McClain hinted at Friday afternoon, after Lawson was arrested, when we asked them about a possible motive.

"I think he was kind of obsessed with my sister," Brooke McClain said at the time. "I don't know why he would kill all of them."

On Wednesday, McClain and Stacey's other sisters were again in the front row, wearing shirts reading "RH - #DevonStrong."

They declined to be interviewed, saying they hadn't had time to process the new charges. But Desiree McClain did have this to say about Lawson and a possible death penalty: "He deserved what he did to my family, but we didn't really get that."

During the news conference, Anderson explained that each aggravated murder count has four or more aggravating circumstances attached. The maximum sentence on each count is death by lethal injection. The initial court filing had been for a single count of aggravated murder and three counts of murder.

Last Wednesday, all of the victims were found shot to death in a home along state Route 93 in Pedro.

The four victims, who were all family members, are: Donald McGuire, 50, Tammie McGuire, 43, Stacey Jackson Holston, 25, and Devin Holston, 8.

Another victim, 29-year-old Todd Holston, was stabbed but managed to get away. He was released from a hospital last week.

Also during the news conference, Anderson praised the community and law enforcement cooperation in Lawson's capture. He was on the run for about 36 hours after the murders before being caught walking along County Road 52 in Lawrence County last Friday.

"I am absolutely honored to be a Lawrence County resident," Anderson said, referring to the collaborative effort to capture Lawson. "Justice will take place in a courtroom. It will not take place today."

Anderson read a prepared statement and did not take any questions.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/16/17 @ 3:45 p.m.
A quadruple murder suspect waived his bond hearing Monday, Ironton Municipal Court records show.

A preliminary hearing for 23-year-old Arron Lawson is set for 9 a.m. Thursday.

Lawson faces three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder in the deaths of Donald McGuire, 50, Tammie McGuire, 43, Stacey Jackson, 25, and Devin Holston, 8.

All of the victims were found shot to death in a home along state Route 93 in Pedro.



UPDATE 10/14/17 @ 11:54 a.m.
A man investigators say killed four people, including an 8-year-old boy was formally charged Saturday morning in Ironton Municipal Court.

Arron Lawson, 23, faces three counts of murder, and one count of aggravated murder in the deaths of Donald McGuire, 50, Tammie McGuire, 43, Stacey Jackson, 25, and Devin Holston, 8.

Lawson faces other charges.

The four were found dead Wednesday at a home on state Route 93 in the Pedro area.

No bond was set for Lawson, and an attorney will be appointed for him. A bond hearing is set for Monday.

Family members of the victims were at Saturday morning's hearing.

Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson tells WSAZ he is seeking the death penalty in this case.

These were premeditated with prior calculation and design as well as committing numerous other felonies, and therefore the death penalty is required for crimes this horrific," said Anderson. "That's my job, is to seek justice and to make sure that this family knows that justice has been served, as well as the rest of the community. This is a horrific event."

The case would also be the first death penalty case in Lawrence County since 2005.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/13/17 @ 12:25 p.m.
The names of four murder victims in Lawrence County, Ohio, have been released.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless tells WSAZ that Donald McGuire, 50, Tammie McGuire, 43, Stacey Jackson, 25, and Devin Holston, 8, all were shot and killed.

It happened Wednesday night at a home along state Route 93 in Pedro. Stacy and Devin lived at the home where the shootings happened. The McGuires lived just down the road.

Investigators say a neighbor called in Friday morning and reported seeing the suspect, Arron Lawson, walking along the 1700 block of County Road 52. When officers arrived, they say Lawson was arrested without incident.

Sheriff Lawless says Lawson was "ready and willing to give up. He was plum worn out from being out in the elements.”

Family members say Lawson is a cousin of Tammie McGuire's.

Lawson is now being held in the Lawrence County Jail. He is set to be arraigned at 10 a.m. Saturday.

He is charged with three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder. Another person was stabbed around the time of the shootings. Family members say that victim, Todd Holston, was released Friday from the hospital.

Investigators say more charges may be filed.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/13/17 @ 10:40 a.m.
The suspect in a quadruple murder has been arrested.

Lawrence County, Ohio Sheriff Jeff Lawless says Arron Lawson is being taken to the Lawrence County Jail.

A previously-scheduled 11 a.m. news conference will now be held at the jail.

WSAZ has news crews there.

The news conference will be streamed live on wsaz.com and the WSAZ Facebook page.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/12/17 @ 10:20 p.m.
A massive manhunt is ongoing for a quadruple murder suspect, more than 24 hours after four people were found shot to death inside a home, including an 8-year-old boy.

Warrants have been issued for Arron Lawson, 23, on three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder. Another person was stabbed around the time of the shootings.

The crimes happened along state Route 93 in the Pedro area.

While investigators had some potential leads about Lawson's whereabouts, he remains at large.

After the killings, the stabbing victim showed up seeking help at Decatur Missionary Baptist Church during church services, according to one of its parishioners. That victim was flown to a local hospital and is said to be doing well.

The body of the youngest victim of the murders, 8-year-old Devin Holston, was found hidden in the same mobile home where the other victims had been shot. Devin originally was thought to be missing.

We continue to have a crew at the scene.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/12/17 @ 3:05 p.m.
A manhunt is on for a murder suspect after four people were found shot to death inside a home, including an 8-year-old boy.

Warrants have been issued for Arron Lawson, 23, on three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder.

Deputies say all of the people killed were found inside a home on state Route 93 in Lawrence County.

Seven-year-old Devin Holston was found shot to death inside the home.

Sheriff Lawless says his body was recovered Thursday morning after he appeared to be hidden.

Another victim came home to the scene after work and was attacked by Lawson and stabbed in the neck and head.

That person was able to escape and was airlifted to a local hospital where he is doing well at this time, according to Sheriff Lawless.

Sheriff Lawless says the search for Lawson continues and "we're going to get him."

The last location Lawson was seen was in the 1500 block of County Road 181.

Sheriff Lawless says he has no indication that Lawson is armed with a firearm and that he believes the murder weapon has been recovered.

Multiple law enforcement agencies from three states are assisting the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Lawless says further charges could be pending against Lawson.

The bodies of the four people killed will be sent to Montgomery County for an autopsy.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/12/17 @ 10 a.m.
An endangered missing child advisory for Devin Holston has been cancelled, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

There is no word on the condition of the 8-year-old boy.

The search continues for Arron Lawson, 23, who is a person of interest in a triple homicide that happened Wednesday night in Lawrence County.

Deputies say when they arrived at the scene on Route 93 they found three adults inside with gunshot wounds.
.
A fourth victim was found at a residence a quarter of a mile down SR 93 at a relative's home.

Lawson was spotted by deputies on SR 141 near CR 52 driving a blue Chevrolet truck around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, but after a short pursuit Lawson crashed his vehicle into a ditch and ran.

Deputies lost Lawson in a nearby wooded area.

If anyone has information about where Arron Lawson or Devin Holston could be, please call the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office at 740-532-3525 or 9-1-1.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/12/17 @ 6:23 a.m.
The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department is looking for a person of interest and a missing child after three people were found shot and killed at a trailer late Wednesday night.

Investigators were called to the trailer just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Deputies say when they arrived they found three adults inside with gunshot wounds. A fourth victim was found at a residence a quarter of a mile down SR 93 at a relative's home.

While on scene, deputies found that 8-year-old, Devin Holston was no where to be found. Authorities performed an extensive search of the area, but couldn't find the boy.

Holston is 7 years old, 4'8, 80 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes.

Deputies are actively looking for 23 year-old Arron Lawson as a person of interest in this case. He is 5'9, 139 lbs with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Deputies say there is reason to believe Holston is in danger or injured.

Lawson was spotted by deputies on SR 141 near CR 52 driving a blue Chevrolet truck around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, but after a short pursuit Lawson crashed his vehicle into a ditch and ran.

Deputies lost Lawson in a nearby wooded area.

If anyone has information about where Arron Lawson or Devin Holston could be, please call the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office at 740-532-3525 or 9-1-1.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/12/17 @ 5:08 a.m.
A person of interest and a missing child after a triple murder have been identified.

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office in Ohio is searching for 23-year-old Arron Lawson. Lawson has been named a person of interest after 3 people were found dead at a home along Route 93 north of Pedro Wednesday evening.

Lawson was last seen on foot around Rt. 141 and County Road 44 South. Deputies say do not approach Lawson, call 911 immediately.

Deputies also identified an 8-year old boy that has been missing since the triple murder. Devin Holston was last seen at the home. He is 8 years old, 4'8, 80 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. It is believed Hoston is in danger or injured.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE - 10/12/17 @ 2 a.m.
Three people were shot and killed in a home Wednesday night, and a fourth person was stabbed, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless says.

It happened in a residence along Route 93 in Decatur Township.

The sheriff also says they were told an 8-year-old child was supposed to be at that home, but the whereabouts of that child are currently unknown.

The person who was stabbed was able to walk to a relative's home nearby and call for help. That person was flown to a hospital in Huntington, the sheriff says.

"This is a tragic scene," Lawless said. "We have three people dead here. It's just a devastating scene. It's devastating for all these family members that are going through this situation tonight."

There has been no description of the child released at this time.

Lawless told WSAZ a little after 12:30 a.m. Thursday they have identified a person of interest and are looking for that person.

"With three dead people here, we're not sure what this person is capable of," Lawless said. "However, we haven't completely confirmed the story of what's been told. We've heard three or four different stories of what's occurred here tonight, so now it's time for us to piece this thing together and figure out exactly who is our suspect here and what exactly has happened."

BCI Crime Scene Units were awaiting a search warrant so they can begin processing the inside of the home.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY - 10/11/2017 @ 11:15 p.m.
There's a large law enforcement presence Wednesday night at suspected crime scenes in the Pedro area, according to our crew there.

It is happening along state Route 93 in Decatur Township. Our crew reports there are two different scenes. They're about a quarter of a mile apart.

Lawrence County Sheriff's deputies are there investigating. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) also has two units there.

Neighbors tell our crew that one person was flown out by helicopter. They also say the people who live in the homes where the incidents happened are related to each other.

Our crew reports there are distraught people at the scenes, some crying and hugging each other.

No other details are available now.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.




 
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