Lawson's Final Stop

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

The pieces are coming together about the final hours of the man charged with murdering two family members.

Police tactical teams searched for Michael Lawson all day long Tuesday, but it wasn't until Wednesday morning that the trail got hot.

That's because he showed up at a home on Paine Run Road.

That home belongs to Jimmie VanBuren, Jr., who knew Lawson for more than 40 years. He said he didn't think Lawson had any other place to go. VanBuren said he did not let Lawson into the home but asked him to sit outside.

Meanwhile, his wife locked herself in the bathroom and dialed 911.

VanBuren said a tired looking Lawson put his head down and said he knew his life was over but he would not go to jail.

"Mike had just crossed the line by taking the lives of two other people," said VanBuren's daughter, Kristy Liptrap. "I guess he just realized what he had done, didn't know what to do from there but wouldn't turn himself in."

VanBuren said he never saw a weapon and that Lawson said "I won't hurt you, Jimmie."

But VanBuren said he was still scared because the man who came to his back door that night was not his same childhood friend.

Lawson shot himself, taking his own life, a quarter of a mile down the road from VanBuren's home.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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