By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
A status hearing in Laurel County Circuit Court Friday left an arrest warrant active on a man indicted for shooting his girlfriend in the ankle.
Richard J. Lawson, of Keavy, was indicted in March for first-degree assault through domestic violence, a felony offense, and first-degree wanton endangerment.
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.
Lawson’s attorney for that case was Mike Brophy. It is not clear whether Brophy will remain Lawson’s attorney for the circuit case, however, in court Friday, attorney Kelly Ridings stood in.
The only thing learned in court Friday was Lawson is not yet in custody.
It was learned in district court in February that the deputy was improperly subpoenaed for that case, however, it was not known why Smith was not present.
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 deputies.
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.