MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WTVQ) — The Bell County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office on Tuesday filed a notice to seek the death penalty for the woman accused of killing her 17-month-old child.
The “Notice of Aggravating Circumstances” filed in Bell County Circuit Court states that the Commonwealth of Kentucky, through attorney Lisa Fugate, is requesting that if Erica Lawson is convicted of the murder of her child that the death penalty be an option the jury may choose, according to WRIL.
The filing states that:
“Comes the Commonwealth for the purpose of notifying the Defendant that it intends to present evidence regarding an aggravating circumstance, pursuant to KRS 532.025 (2)(a)(9), that being that the offense of murder was intentional and resulted in the death of a seventeen month old toddler. Therefore, the Commonwealth intends to seek the imposition of the death penalty.”
On July 28, Lawson’s 17-month-old child was hospitalized and then died following severe injuries, including sexual assault.
The child, who was taken to Middlesboro ARH Hospital, arrived with severe injuries. Due to the extent of the child’s injuries, she was flown to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.
Medical staff attempted to stabilize the child but due to the incident, she was declared brain dead and died that Sunday evening.
Lawson was arrested Sunday night.
She’s charged with murder, failure to report child abuse, criminal abuse (child under 12) and wanton endangerment.
Lawson is being held on a $1,000,000 cash bond in the Leslie County Detention Center.
DNA results have not yet returned from the lab from several submissions of others that may be involved in the case, WRIL added.
No additional arrests have been made yet.