Parole denied for Middletown killer who dismembered woman 20 years ago

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - A Middletown man will have to serve at least 10 more years behind bars after being denied parole for his horrific crime.

On Monday, it was announced that 48-year-old James Lawson will remain in prison for the 1998 murder of Cheryl Durkin.

Prosecutors said Lawson killed and dismembered then 33-year-old Durkin.

Court records show that investigators believe Durkin's wrists were tied while she was beaten in the head. They said she was then cut apart with a saw, and her body parts were ultimately buried in a park, as well as Indiana, and also thrown into the Great Miami River.

For months, he lived life on the run until he was captured, charged and convicted of the crime. His defense was that Durkin was a burglar.

Lawson is serving a life sentence.

He will be eligible for parole again in 2028.

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