Area native found guilty in slaying

INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion County jury this week found a Hancock County native guilty of the murder of her former boyfriend and the attempted murder of her romantic rival, records show.

Rebecca Lawson, 27, 5290 Reeder St., Indianapolis, was accused of shooting two people, killing one and seriously injuring the other, last year in Indianapolis, officials said. She was charged with one count of murder and one Level 1 felony count of attempted murder, records show.

This week, a jury found Lawson guilty of both counts following a three-day trial in Marion County Criminal Division 2, records show. Judge Marc Rothenberg oversaw the proceedings.

Lawson grew up in Shirley and graduated from Eastern Hancock High School in 2008. She was living in Indianapolis when she was arrested in February after being found outside a home on the city’s southwest side where two people had been shot, according to court documents.

Patrick Brown, 35, died after being struck in the chest by a single bullet, according to court documents. Pathologists ruled his death a homicide, reports state.

A second victim, Cecilia Land, was taken to Eskenazi Health Hospital with critical injuries but later released, reports state.

Brown was romantically involved with Land and Lawson, according to court documents. Lawson shot Brown and Land after finding them together at Brown’s home, located along South Lynhurst Drive in Indianapolis, investigators said.

A witness told police Brown and Land were shot during an argument outside the home, court documents state. A loaded gun was found inside Lawson’s car, which was parked at the scene with police arrived, officials said.

Lawson, who called 911 after the shooting and waited for police to arrive, told investigators she shot Brown in self-defense, court records state. She said she came to Brown’s home to collect belongings she had left there and admitted to arguing with Brown, court documents state. She told police she was holding a gun when the argument started.

Lawson said she fired the gun after Brown grabbed her, according to court documents. She told police she fired at Land a few moments later when she saw the woman running toward her, according to court documents.

Lawson’s trial in Marion County began with jury selection on Monday morning. Prosecutors and Lawson’s defense attorney, Hilary Bowe Ricks, gave their opening statements Monday afternoon, records show.

Jurors heard evidence on Tuesday and Wednesday before deliberating and reaching a guilty verdict Wednesday evening, records show.

Marion County prosecutors declined a request for comment on the proceedings. Ricks did not return a call for comment.

Lawson is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8.

The murder charge she’s been convicted of carries a maximum penalty of 65 years in prison; the Level 1 felony she’d been convicted of carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or