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Teen pleads in slaying of Forest Park grandmother arranged by text

A dispute that allegedly began over a haircut turned deadly in April 2020, according to court documents.
Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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FOREST PARK, Ohio (FOX19) - An 18-year-old pleaded guilty on Thursday in the fatal shooting of a woman in Forest Park last year.

Timothy Williams pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and evidence tampering. He received a 17-year prison sentence.

The case, which police described as “sketchy” from the start, saw Leslie Lawson, 50, shot in the doorway of her Geneva Road home on April 2, 2020.

In the 911 call, a man who claimed to be Lawson’s husband said someone had knocked at the door wanting help after a car accident. Then the shots rang out.

Prosecutors in the case said the slaying was arranged in text messages by 22-year-old Eyionna Leary, the mother of Lawson’s grandchild.

Lawson’s family says a feud started between Leary and Lawson’s son, the father of Leary’s child, after the grandparents took the child to get a haircut.

Weeks later, two suspects turned themselves in to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office: Williams, who was 16 at the time; and Kerwin Heard, now 21.

According to police, it was Williams who pulled the trigger.

Heard had an ongoing feud with Lawson’s son, police wrote in an affidavit. He is charged with aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault, according to court records.

Heard’s trial is scheduled to begin in October.

Police say Leary hatched the deadly plot and solicited Williams and Heard to carry it out. She allegedly gave them Leary’s address and said in a text, “Start with his momma.”

Leary also allegedly sent text messages to the juvenile saying, “Kill her,” and, “I want this [******] dead.”

Among the most shocking revelations, Leary helped the parents grieve after the shooting.

Leary faces multiple charges including aggravated murder. A trial date has not been set.

Reacting to the guilty plea, Larson’s husband of 30 years, Everett Lawson said it was like “pouring salt on an open wound.”

Everett says he thinks of his late wife every day. Still, he says he doesn’t hold a grudge against William’s family.

“It’s two losses,” he said. “They’re losing their son for 17 years, and I lost my wife forever. He’s got a second chance at life. I just hope he can learn from it, learn from his mistakes.”

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