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JUST IN: Tracy Lawrence found guilty of two counts of second degree murder and felony firearm

UPDATE: Tracy Lawrence has been found guilty of two counts of second degree murder and felony firearm.
 

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) -- After two years of controversy and a week-long trial, a jury is finally deliberating the fate of Tracy Lawrence, a Jackson County man charged with murder.

 

6 News was in the courtroom for the trial's final dramatic moments.

As the jury deliberates, they're no doubt thinking about what Tracy Lawrence had to say at his own trial.

 

Monday morning, Lawrence was the last person to give testimony.

 

He is charged with two counts of second degree murder in the shooting deaths of Hunter Lentz and Matthew McMillen in June 2016.

 

The 18 year olds were trespassing on Lawrence’s property in Springport Township when they were shot.

 

Lawrence testified that he woke up that morning and heard someone trying to get into his basement.

 

He says he saw the men trying to get into his truck and garage.

 

The 55 year old says he grabbed a rifle, went on his porch, and yelled at them to get off his property.

 

Lawrence says he opened fire when it appeared they were running toward him.

 

“As soon as they started running toward me, I fired two shots into the ground as warning shots. I was scared for myself and my wife who was in bed sleeping,” Lawrence said giving testimony.

 

Lawrence’s attorney asked him if he was trying to hurt anybody.

 

“No, I’m not,” Lawrence responded.

 

Closing arguments also happened Monday.

 

Prosecutors say Lawrence had no reason to feel threatened because the men were trying to run away when they were shot.

 

They also claimed he shot them without fully understanding what they were doing on the property.

 

But the defense says it was clear the men were there to do harm and Lawrence acted in self-defense.

 

An attorney dressed up like one of the men for his closing argument.

 

 “They dressed to be successful; they wore gloves so they wouldn't leave fingerprints. They covered their faces up. They knew what they were doing. If you saw this running at you, what would you do?” said George Lyons, a defense attorney for Lawrence.

 

In his closing argument, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steve Idema said Lawrence made several decisions before committing the murders.

 

“He shot and killed two human beings, two 18 year old boys. He made that conscious choice not when he was on the porch. He made that choice when he was still in his house,” Idema said.

 

Jury deliberations continue Tuesday so stay with us for updates.


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