A Williamsburg woman surrendered to police Wednesday afternoon after a Whitley County Grand Jury indicted her for murder Monday morning in connection with the death of her own mother early this year.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said that he contacted some of Patricia C. Lawson’s family members, and made arrangements for her to turn herself in to authorities at the Whitley County Detention Center Wednesday afternoon.
Lawson was booked into the facility about 3:20 p.m.
The grand jury indicted Lawson, 57, of 403 E. Oak Ridge Street, and her daughter, Michelle Susan Loy, 37, of 139 Cemetery Road, for murder in the Jan. 21 death of 76-year-old Georgia Dotson. The grand jury also indicted Loy for first-degree criminal abuse of Dotson.
The two women are now being held in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of $75,000 bonds.
Loy’s attorney, public defender Ron Findell, entered a not guilty plea on her behalf during her arraignment Monday morning in Whitley Circuit Court.
Judge Paul Braden scheduled a May 18 pretrial conference in the case, and Findell indicated that he might seek a bond reduction at that time. Braden noted that $75,000 is usually the minimum bond that he would set in a murder case.
Lawson is likely to be arraigned on either on May 18 or on June 14, court officials said.
"It was through wanton conduct that Ms. Dotson died," said Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble. "The autopsy indicated that she had several fractured ribs all in different states of healing, and various other medical testimony that would suggest that the injuries did not occur accidentally."
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley said after witnessing inconsistencies at the death scene and conducting his preliminary investigation, he quickly decided to contact police.
"After the autopsy the next day, I realized that the concerns that I had were true," Croley said.
Bird said that when he traveled to Frankfort for Dotson’s autopsy, he learned that she had a great deal of bruising including injuries to her face and head.
"The cause of death on the autopsy was ruled as blunt force trauma," Bird said.
Someone apparently tried to use make-up to conceal Dotson’s injuries, Bird noted.
He said that Loy is Lawson’s daughter and the granddaughter of the victim. Loy was the caretaker for Dotson, who was bedfast.
Bird said that earlier in the day on Jan. 21, Williamsburg police had made a drug buy at Loy’s residence.
Loy was already being held on unrelated charges of terroristic threatening and intimidating a participant in a legal process when she was indicted Monday.