Timothy Lawson

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Photo of Timothy Lawson [8]

Timothy Scott Lawson is a convicted felon residing in Manchester, Kentucky ​ in Clay County, Kentucky. In June 2018 he was sentenced to 32 years in prison after carjacking a Good Samaritan ​ and shooting at a volunteer firefighter ​ during a two week crime spree. [2] [10]

Early Life

Timothy Lawson is the only son of Lydia Burns. She said that Timothy had a smile that would light up the room and that he has a heart of gold. She also stated that he was suffering from drug addiction and hoped that he would change his ways after being put in jail.​ [3]

Crime Spree

In July 2016, Timothy Lawson started a two week crime spree that included stealing several vehicles and shooting in the direction of a volunteer firefighter helping at a police roadblock that Lawson ran through. [3]

Clay County deputies holding checkpoints near the last place that authorities saw Lawson [14]

On another occasion, Lawson ran from a house when Kentucky State Police ​ arrived to arrest him and swam across the South Fork of the Kentucky River ​ to escape, according to a court record. [3]

During the crime spree, Lawson went in the home of an Owsley County, Kentucky ​ woman and waited until she returned, then brandished a stolen Mossberg 500 ​, .410 shotgun ​ and threatened to kill her if she didn’t give him the keys to her pickup truck ​, according to a court record. Lawson fled in the truck, but wrecked it. [8] [3]

A man who was traveling with his mother and son saw the wreck and stopped to help. Lawson then fired a shot over the top of their car with the shotgun, ordered them to get out and stole the car, according to a court document. [3]

The second stolen vehicle developed engine trouble. Lawson, bleeding from a cut on his forehead from when he crashed the first vehicle, flagged down a passerby and took his truck, according to a report from the time. [3]

Over the next few days, he allegedly stole a Toyota 4Runner ​ from a man who was fishing and then burned it, and kicked in the door of a man’s house in Clay County, hit him with a gun, locked him in a closet and stole his pickup truck. Police caught Lawson more than a week after the initial two carjackings in Owsley County. [3]


Youtube Video
WYMT ​: Clay suspect tells his side of the story

During an interview with WKYT ​, Timothy Lawson apologized to the victims of his crimes. "I apologize to the families that I hurt, that they say I hurt. Apologize is the most I can do right now," Lawson said. [7] [4]

"I was just in a bad state of mind. I thought I had nothing to lose. Three to four days in the mountains, you're soaking wet, hungry. No other options, you know you go into survival mode," Lawson said. [7]

Lawson says drugs played a role into why he didn't surrender to police but he says, he also was afraid. "I couldn't come out nowhere without getting shot at, so I feared for my life that is the reason why I didn't surrender to law enforcement," Lawson said. [7]

Lawson says if he could do it all over again, he would never have violated his parole which was the initial reason he was on the run. When discussing his arrest, he said "Glad it happened like this, for my family's sake," Lawson said. [7]


In 2016, Timothy Lawson was indicted on 11 charges by a Grand Jury ​: Three counts of Theft ​ by unlawful taking over $500, Two counts of Wanton Endangerment-1st Degree, Burglary ​-1st Degree, Robbery ​-1st Degree, Assault ​-2nd Degree, Fleeing or evading police-auto-1st Degree, Fleeing or evading police-on foot-1st Degree and Criminal mischief ​-1st Degree. [7]


On Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Timothy Lawson was sentenced to 32 years in prison by​ United States federal judge ​, Claria Horn Boom. In November 2017, Lawson had plead guilty ​ to counts of brandishing and discharging a firearm during a carjacking. Lawson will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence because there is no parole ​ in the federal court system. [10]

Criminal History

Prior to July 2016, Timothy Lawson had a criminal record that included charges of assault, theft, burglary and illegal possession of pain pills. [3]

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