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Updated: Aug 22, 2023

From WRIL The Big One -

Erica Lawson

Erica Lawson who was arrested weeks ago in the death of her 17-month-old child Elena, was indicted today by a Bell County Grand Jury for Murder.

On Friday night July 28, 2023, the toddler was taken to Middlesboro ARH Hospital with severe injuries including sexual assault.

Due to the extreme and life-threatening nature of the injuries, the child was flown to Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. The child had been beaten and raped.

The medical staff attempted to stabilize the girl, placing her on a respirator, but unfortunately, the incident rendered the child brain dead according to a family member. The victim passed away Sunday evening July 30th at Children’s Hospital.

Middlesboro Lt./Detective Barry Cowan and Officer Caleb Ayers began a joint investigation into who was responsible for the incident that led to the assault and death of the child.

Sunday night the 30th Det. Cowan interviewed the mother of the child, 21-year-old Erica L. Lawson of Middlesboro, and

subsequently arrested her in connection with the violent and tragic crime.

Erica Lawson was initially booked into the Bell County Detention Center and charged with:

Manslaughter – 2nd degree, Failure to report child abuse – 1st degree, Criminal abuse – 1st degree - child under 12, and Wanton endangerment.

She was then transported to the Clay County Detention Center and then onto the Leslie County Detention Center.

She is being held on a $1.000,000 cash bond.

As a point of reference, the Middlesboro Police Department has submitted multiple samples of DNA for a lab for testing. DNA results have not yet returned from the lab. Even with expediting the testing procedure, the lab is still behind.

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1 Comment

Aug 31, 2023

Anyone who would do this to a child or allow this to be done to a child should be given the death penalty.

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