TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

April 22, 2013

Man accused of shooting girlfriend indicted by grand jury


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

An arrest warrant remains for a man indicted in Laurel County Circuit Court March after allegedly shooting his girlfriend in the ankle.

Richard J. Lawson, 36, of Keavy, had a status hearing for his case in circuit court Friday. Judge Tom Jensen learned then the defendant remains “at large.”

Lawson’s case in Laurel County District Court was dismissed in February. Judge John Paul Chappell had no choice but to “dismiss without prejudice” in that case because both the Laurel County deputy in the case, as well as the shooting victim, Gena Smith, 37, were not present in court.

It was learned in court the deputy was improperly subpoenaed for the case, however, it was not known why Smith was not present.

Lawson’s attorney for the district case was Mike Brophy, however, Attorney Kelly Ridings stood in for Brophy that day.

She said then the case could still be presented to a grand jury, which it was in March.

Lawson faces one felony charge of first-degree assault through domestic violence and one charge of first-degree wanton endangerment.

According to Sheriff John Root, on Feb. 3, deputies Shawn Boroviak and Brett Reeves responded to a Locust Grove residence to investigate a report that a woman had been shot.

Deputies were told Lawson was “very intoxicated” and had been in an argument with Smith. As Smith tried to flee the home, Root said Lawson retrieved a .22 caliber rifle and fired several rounds toward Smith as she ran down the hallway.

One shot struck her ankle, but she was able to escape to a neighbor’s home to contact authorities.

Reeves and Boroviak reported discovering Smith at the neighbor’s home, bleeding from the gunshot wound. Root said the deputies also discovered Lawson — he was passed out in a back bedroom, still clutching the rifle allegedly used to shoot his girlfriend.

The couple’s 11-year-old son was in the residence at the time of the shooting.

Lawson had been jailed under a $25,000 cash bond.