In 2018, 34-year-old Jonathan Scruggs was temporarily staying with Frank Lawler, 49, and his girlfriend, 62-year-old Evelyn York, at their home in Stockbridge, officials said.
On May 20, 2018, Lawler and York got into an argument with Scruggs regarding money and their living situation.
Scruggs went to bed that night on the couple’s couch, but then he was reported missing the next day, according to authorities.
On May 22, 2018, the body of Scruggs was found in the woods. Police said he had been shot in the head.
During the investigation, detectives determined Lawler asked friends to burn a couch the day after Scruggs went missing – the same couch Scruggs was last seen on. The couple also bought bleach and cleaned their vehicle, officials said.
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Despite the cleaning, police still found Scruggs’ blood inside the vehicle and multiple guns inside the home.
On April 24, Lawler and York pled guilty in a Henry County courtroom to the crimes connected to Scruggs’ murder.
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Lawler pled guilty to malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and concealing the death of another. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, officials said.
York pled guilty to concealing the death of another, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. She was sentenced to 25 years with the first 15 years to be served in prison, according to authorities.
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