When friends and family members found Billy Lawson dead on Feb. 11, inside a game room he operated on the Kentucky side of Jellico, there was “blood everywhere,” a caller told Whitley County E-911 dispatchers.
Authorities determined that he had been stabbed 39 times.
A trio of Williamsburg residents, Jordan Miracle, 23, and twin brothers James and Jamie Muse, 27, are charged with murder, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence in Lawson’s Feb. 10 stabbing death.
The case against the trio is proceeding slowly through Whitley Circuit Court in part because prosecutors are still waiting on test results on the blood evidence.
During a pretrial conference Monday afternoon, Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling told Judge Dan Ballou that no serology or DNA testing results are back yet from the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab.
“We have a lot of blood evidence. This is a really, really sad vicious killing and we want to make sure we get all of our ducks in a row,” Bowling said.
“Since it is going to be a very, very big point in this case, we are not going to do anything until the labs have had time to analyze all the DNA, which will take some time.”
Ballou scheduled another pretrial conference in the case for Feb. 3, but Bowling noted he doubts all the laboratory testing will be completed by then and thinks next summer is a more likely time period for testing to be completed by.
“There is not a lot going on in this case until we get our forensics done,” Bowling added. “Especially in a case with identical twins, DNA becomes even more important.”
The killing took place in a building located at 12076 US25W, where Lawson, 45, operated a game room.
KSP Detective Billy Correll testified during a preliminary hearing in late February that Miracle and Jamie Muse each claimed that the other was responsible for Lawson’s stabbing, and that James Muse drove the trio away from the scene after the killing. Then their vehicle broke down a few miles away.
On the day Lawson’s body was discovered, Tommy Leach Towing contacted police after towing James Muse’s black Kia Spectra. Police found red stains inside that looked like blood and three unmatched kitchen type knives in the front passenger side floorboard of the vehicle.
Miracle and both Muse brothers have pleaded not guilty and are being held in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of $1 million cash bonds.