Jury convicts Warner Robins man of holding mother, teens at gunpoint in home invasion

bpurser@macon.comJuly 16, 2014 

A Houston County jury deliberated nearly six hours Wednesday before convicting a Warner Robins man of holding a woman and her teenagers at gunpoint during a 2013 home invasion and burglary.

Jurors found 24-year-old Roderick Lawson guilty of two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, robbery and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime.

Lawson, dressed in a black shirt and brown pants, turned away from jurors as tears streamed down his face. A deputy handed him a tissue.

Lawson faces a maximum of life in prison plus 30 years. Sentencing is at 10 a.m. Thursday before Judge Edward D. Lukemire, who indicated he would not seek the maximum sentence but that some of the offenses carry no possibility of parole.

Co-defendant Benjamin Dontarious Thomas, 23, of Perry, previously pleaded guilty to his part in the crime and testified against Lawson during the trial. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison plus 15 on probation afterward. But a resentencing hearing is pending, Assistant District Attorney Greg Winters said.

On Jan. 9, a masked Thomas and Lawson came up behind a woman as she was replacing a screen on a window outside her Perry home at 10:40 p.m. Thomas pointed a shotgun in her face, while Lawson held a brick as she was ordered back inside the home, police said.

Once inside, both men took turns holding the woman, a schoolteacher, and her children, who were then ages 13 and 18, at gunpoint. The men took a blanket off the back of a couch and used it to hold a wallet, cellphone and XBox 360, police said.

The men were later arrested at an apartment at Kings Villas Apartments on Kings Chapel Road. The apartment was the home of Lawson’s girlfriend, who is also Thomas’ cousin, police said. The apartment backs up to the Alice Drive home of the victims.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service