A man was shot and killed on Saturday in Whitley, TN, just south of Red Boiling Springs. The shooting occurred around noon. Officers arrived to find Donald Anderson, 42, injured but conscious. “He’d been shot,” says Macon County Sherriff Mark Gammons. According to the arrest report, the victim made a dying declaration to THP Trooper Ashley Mercer, stating that Joseph Lawson had shot him. The shooting occurred at 569 Haydenburg Ridge Road—Lawson’s parents’ home.
Anderson alleged that Joseph Lawson, 21, had lain in wait armed with a .22 caliber rifle with the intent to kill Anderson because he believed that Anderson was dating his girlfriend. “When Donald Anderson arrived,” states the report, “the defendant fired at him twice, striking him once.” Anderson died of his wounds shortly thereafter. Gammons said that the weapon was also found, on a nearby hill.
That night, the family of the suspected shooter contacted police and said he wanted to turn himself in,” stated the Sheriff. Joseph Morgan Lawson was arrested around 2 A.M. Sunday morning, freely and without struggle, and has been charged with one count of Criminal Homicide.
In an interesting twist, Lawson had been arrested the day before the shooting for burglary and theft. “We’d gotten a call earlier that week from a property owner out on Public Well Road,” said arresting officer Detective Bryon Satterfield. “The resident said that he’d had some items stolen from his truck: a radiator, a pickup-truck rear-end—basically scrap iron. At that time we were able to locate the items in one of our local scrap yards. Then we were able to identify Mr. Lawson, who had actually sold those items.” The total value of the stolen items amounted to about $800.
“So we brought Mr. Lawson in for questioning on the burglary,” said Satterfield, “and he stated that those were the items that he did take. At that time he was booked for burglary and theft.” Lawson posted bail, and the shooting occurred the following day.
Lawson’s court date, for all charges, is April 18; he is being held without bond. Public defender Tom Bilbrey has been appointed to the case.