Macon County Chronicle

Lawson Pleads to 2nd Degree Murder

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Joseph Lawson told investigators that he didn’t mean to kill Donald Anderson on Saturday, April 14, 2012, that he just wanted to scare him. On Monday, March 24, 2014, Mr. Lawson stood in the courtroom of Judge John Wootten and pled guilty to 2nd degree murder (knowingly killing Donald Anderson) taking a 25 year sentence to serve at one hundred percent in the Tennessee Department of Corrections.


As previously reported in the Macon County Chronicle, on Saturday, April 14, 2012, Joseph Lawson, of Red Boiling Springs, (then 21-years-old) allegedly killed 42-year-old Donald Anderson, also of RBS, in the southeast section of Macon County.

He had been accused of being armed with a rifle while laying in wait for Anderson to arrive at his parents’ home at 569 Haydenburg Ridge Road. Lawson supposedly lured the man to that residence after learning of a relationship between Anderson and his girlfriend. The suspect fled the scene after the gunfire but after a short manhunt he was located. Lawson was charged with pre-meditated 1st degree murder.

In other courtroom news, Danielle Jackson’s trial for vehicular homicide by recklessness had originally been set for this week, but the case was continued to September 23rd, as her attorney needed more time for his accident reconstructionist. Jackson was charged after she ran the stop sign at the intersection of Highway 52 & 10. She struck and killed Brett Minchey, who was operating a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Johnny Ray Swack’s murder trial date is still set for May and a motion date will be set before then. Swack was charged with 1st degree murder for killing his former wife, Reinalda Ann Dupont England on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at 412 Meador Drive, in Lafayette.