Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

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March 12, 2010

Emerson found not guilty

March 10, 2010 — Editor's Note: Following the below story, the jury found Emerson not guilty on Wednesday, March 10.

The murder trial continues for a 50-year-old Carter County man who took the stand Tuesday claiming self-defense in the Aug. 8, 2009 killing of his neighbor Richard Lawrence.

The weeklong trial continued to hear witnesses for the defendant and for the commonwealth.

Timothy Emerson pleaded not guilty and claims that he shot Lawrence in self-defense when Lawrence threatened to kill him and kicked twice the back door at Emerson’s Fighting Fork residence.

Lawrence, 41, believed Emerson and his wife Barbara were having a sexual relationship.

Prior to the shooting Emerson was inside the mobile home with Lawrence’s wife Barbara and her 12-year-old daughter Katie.

On the evening of the shooting, Barbara Lawrence told Carter County Sheriff Deputy Brandon Cox that her husband arrived at the home and was kicking in the back door. She took the witness stand this past Wednesday but denied telling Cox that her husband had kicked the door.

Katie Lawrence also took the stand and remained emotional throughout questioning. Emerson’s attorney Michael Curtis asked Katie about the day her father was killed. “Didn’t you tell police that your dad was kicking at the back door?” Curtis asked her. Katie answered and said, “No, I said, he was knocking at the door.”

While on the stand, Emerson told the jury that Barbara and Katie had been staying with him due to a protective order against her husband Lawrence.

“She said she had to get away from him because he was beating her,” Emerson testified. “She was afraid for her life. She said he had a violent temper when he was drinking and it got worse when he was off his medication. I don’t know what type of medication he was on.”

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