Favorite

Jury Foreman, Lawler Neighbor Recalls Case 

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Ed Lawler (“The Curious Case of John Edward Lawler,” Cover Story, June 17), but not the memory of the murder. I was both a neighbor on Riverside Drive and the foreman of the Johnny Ballard jury trial.

My contact with Lawler was minimal — his dog would escape to my home and jump into my truck to sleep. I returned him several times. Even though I divulged this information to the lawyers I was never stricken from the jury. Mike Morchower asked me why, and years later I asked Ballard attorney Craig Cooley in the Richmond Airport. He had asked if I were involved in youth programs — I was a volunteer baseball coach in Huguenot Little League for 7 years. I answered yes and that's why I was not stricken. The defense reasoned that I would be opposed to capital punishment of a 17-year-old. They were correct. But the entire jury felt the same way. We all felt [Carl G.] Simons was the real “bludgeoner.”

One discrepancy from what the jury was told and what Simons says in the article — Simons needed money for back child support and Juanita Mae Ballard suggested Lawler as a source, to avoid Simons going to jail or other legal ramifications — the rest is history.
Frank D. Carpin
Richmond

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • OPINION: Et tu, Mayor Stoney?

    OPINION: Et tu, Mayor Stoney?

    Despite promises to be different, Mayor Stoney wants to reward Stone Brewing with a $20 million sweetheart deal that includes demolishing an historical structure.
    • Jul 3, 2018
  • Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense

    Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense

    Noncitizens have the same constitutional rights as anyone else to not have their children ripped away.
    • Jun 26, 2018
  • OPINION: Failing the Test

    OPINION: Failing the Test

    If educators object to standardized testing, the answer is not to cheat but to find ways to teach the next generation about honesty.
    • Jul 10, 2018
  • More »

Copyright © 2018 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation