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franklin county times

Police investigate suspicious' death, burning incident

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
March 27, 2001
Meridian police have identified a suspect in connection with the death of a Meridian woman whose body was discovered in her apartment March 10.
Police Chief Gregg Lewis said investigators are treating the case as a suspicious death. The woman, Darlene Lawson, was discovered in her Deer Run apartment by a family member, he said.
Lauderdale County Coroner Marl Cobler said Lawson's body was found on the floor of her apartment. An autopsy report indicated she died of blunt force trauma to the abdomen, he said.
Cobler said Lawson was about 51/2 months pregnant at the time of her death. The fetus, which received a laceration to its liver at the time of Lawson's death, also died, he said.
Lewis said investigators will interview a suspect again today "based on pretty strong evidence that has led us to bring this subject in for questioning."
Meanwhile, a Meridian man faces felony charges in connection with an incident in which, according to officers, his live-in girlfriend was doused with an accelerant and set on fire.
Lt. Wade Johnson, an MPD spokesman, said 35-year-old Rickey Barron of 917 42nd Ave., Apt. I-8, was charged with domestic violence-aggravated assault. Officers said the incident occurred Saturday morning.
Johnson said Barron was apprehended at his home and placed on investigative hold following an argument with his girlfriend. Police would not say what type of accelerant was used.
The woman was reportedly transported by Metro Ambulance to Riley Hospital about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. She was listed in stable condition today with burns to her chest, neck and back, Johnson said.
Police Sgt. Joe Hoadley said none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.
Barron is currently in custody at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility on $10,000 bond.
Johnson said the aggravated assault charge falls under domestic violence laws since the argument was between a boyfriend and girlfriend.
The case will likely be presented to the next grand jury in July, he said. Barron is expected to make his initial court appearance within the next few days.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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