Vigil planned for victim of Jones hit and run

Vigil planned for victim of Jones hit and run

lfabian@macon.comAugust 23, 2013 

Vickie Greene can still see her son, standing by the mailbox, talking on the phone.

What she can’t envision is how someone could hit Marquis “Shaun” Lawson on Wheeler Road and keep going the night of July 24.

When Greene was getting ready for bed, she told her son to lock the doors when he came in. It was the last thing she’d ever tell him.

“When I got out of the shower, he was gone,” said Greene, who felt uneasy that night. “Something told me don’t stay in the shower long.”

She got in the car and drove around her Jones County property, shining her headlights in the darkness, hoping to see him.

Greene was afraid her son, who was 28, had fallen and hurt himself.

It wasn’t until the next morning that someone found his body in a ditch up the road.

His baby sister, Victoria Greene, missed the first frantic phone calls to her in Atlanta, where she moved three years ago to get her master’s degree in conflict resolution at Kennesaw State University.

When she did find out her brother was dead, she didn’t know how he was killed.

“I made up my mind, whatever it is, I will forgive, because I’m not drinking that poison,” said Lawson’s sister, who works for a nonprofit organization helping ex-offenders get back into society.

She might have been born three years after her brother, but she was a mentor to him in recent months.

He wrote down for her his seven goals and was planning to be certified “work ready” and apply for jobs.

Lawson wanted to get his driver’s license back after letting it lapse over neglected tickets, she said.

He intended to open up a savings account and cut ties with people who did not help him be a better person.

His mother is thankful he got to spend more time with his three children this summer.

“He was a smart guy,” she said. “He took care of me and I took care of him.”

Her son shunned the quiet life in the country, but she craved the tranquility.

“I came to Jones County for peace,” Vickie Greene said. “I just wanted a place for the grandkids to come where I wouldn’t have to worry about them.”

Lawson was considering moving in with his sister in the big city. He probably liked the idea of keeping a close eye on her.

“I couldn’t get a boyfriend until I went off to college,” she said. “Shaun was very protective.”

She will be home this weekend as the family gathers for a candlelight vigil 6 p.m. Saturday at their home at 331 Wheeler Road.

They will walk down the street to where Lawson’s body was found.

The Jones County Sheriff’s Office is still pursuing leads in the case.

Initially, they launched a lookout for a white utility bucket truck or a white sport utility vehicle, possibly a Nissan Xterra.

“Right now we’re opening it up to anyone who had been there,” Capt. Earl Humphries said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Jones County Sheriff’s Office at 986-3489.

They do know Lawson sent his last text message at 10:22 p.m., so he was likely killed about 10:30 p.m.

Cellphone reception is so poor on that stretch of country road that Lawson often walked around looking for a better signal.

Now his family is seeking closure on what happened to him.

“It’s hard for me to sleep at night,” his mother said.

Victoria Greene said her faith is getting her through her brother’s death. She thinks of him as an angel watching over her.

She wants to maintain a merciful and forgiving spirit toward the driver.

“I can understand people make mistakes, and people being scared, but we also have to face our consequences.”

The driver coming forward will help her family heal, she said.

“It’s like a wound that keeps getting ripped open.”

To contact Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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