, Corbin, KY

March 26, 2013

Woman’s murder charge reduced

Now faces manslaughter following plea agreement regarding death of grandmother

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Murder charges against a woman accused in killing her grandmother more than three years ago were reduced to manslaughter in a plea agreement reached Monday morning.

Michelle Loy, 40, who remains jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center, was to appear before Judge Paul Winchester in Whitley Circuit Court for her trial Monday.

Loy, along with her mother, Patricia Lawson, both faced murder and first-degree criminal abuse charges in the death of Lawson’s mother, 76-year-old Georgia Dotson, of Williamsburg.

According to Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird, Dotson’s injuries were consistent with long-term abuse.

“She had numerous rib fractures, some old,” Bird said. “They were in three stages — old, healing and very recent.”

Loy did appear in court, but only passing through. The jury pool did arrive for duty; however, they were released not long after their arrival.

In the plea agreement, it was learned Loy will likely receive 20 years for both counts of her indictment.

The charge of murder will be reduced to second-degree manslaughter, for which she will receive 10 years, and the other 10 years comes from her charge of first-degree criminal abuse.

Those sentences will be served consecutively.

According to Kentucky forensic anthropologist Emily Craig, an autopsy indicated that Dotson’s death on Jan. 21, 2010, was caused by blunt force trauma, not the result of a fall.

Bird said there was a lot of bruising to Dotson’s head and face, which was covered by makeup.

Whitley Coroner Andy Croley was called to Loy’s house, where Dotson’s body was found.

“Inconsistencies led me to further investigate, and after a preliminary investigation, I then called the police in,” Croley said.

Loy, represented by attorney Cotha Hudson, is slated for her next court appearance April 8. According to the Circuit Court’s office, Lawson is also scheduled to appear in court that day.