County native sentenced to 85 years for murder

INDIANAPOLIS — A Hancock County native found guilty of the murder of her former boyfriend and the attempted murder of her romantic rival was sentenced to 85 years in prison, records show.

Rebecca Lawson, 27, 5290 Reeder St., Indianapolis, on Wednesday received a sentence of 55 years in prison for murder and an additional 30 years for the charge of attempted murder, records show. Lawson will receive about one year off her sentence for the time she spent in jail awaiting trial, records show.

Lawson was convicted in January on one count of murder and one Level 1 felony count of attempted murder after a three-day trial in Marion County. The murder charge Lawson was convicted of carries a maximum penalty of 65 years in prison; the attempted murder charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

She was accused of shooting two people, killing one and seriously injuring the other, last year in Indianapolis, officials said.

Lawson, a Shirley native, is a 2008 graduate of Eastern Hancock High School. She was living in Indianapolis in February when she was arrested outside a home on the city’s southwest side where two people had been shot, according to court documents.

Lawson shot her ex-boyfriend and the woman he was dating at the time during an argument, court documents state.

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.

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 when police arrived, officials said.

Court records state Lawson told investigators she shot Brown in self-defense. She called 911 after the shooting and waited for police to arrive, 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.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or