Crime

Convicted Murderer Accused Of Witness Tampering After Sending Card To 5-Year-Old Son

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Michigan man convicted of murder sent a card to his 5-year-old son in which is promised “things would be better,” according to prosecutors.

Michael D. Lawrence, 25, was arrested in Las Vegas in August 2013 for the murder of two people in Saginaw, a 6-year-old girl who died in a driveby shooting and his former girlfriend Angelica Olivarez, who is the mother of his 5-year-old son.

The boy is a witness to his mother’s murder and prosecutors built a case against Lawrence using his testimony, MLive reported.

Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Boyd said Monday that the card Lawrence sent the boy amounts to witness tampering. Boyd said a note that accompanied the card asked the boy’s custodians to “refrain from telling the child that the card was coming from prison.”

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A motion was filed to add a charge of witness tampering to the three other felonies he is facing.

"The defendant was improperly attempting to influence the testimony of the witnesses through this communication," Boyd wrote in the motion. "In addition, it is believed that the defendant was attempting to find out the current whereabouts of the family in contemplation of having his associates attempt further intimidation of the witnesses in this matter."

Boyd also asked for a "screen between (Lawrence) and those witnesses that (he) has attempted to intimidate in this case by improperly communicating with them."

Lawrence was one of three men convicted of the first-degree premeditated murder in the death of 6-year-old Layla Jones who was shot outside her aunt’s home on Aug. 29, 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Sources: MLive (2)

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Ron Reiring, MLive.com/Jeff Schrier