Local News

Friend recalls fight between defendant, murdered Shaw student

Posted February 24, 2016

— Testimony resumed Wednesday in the trial of Edwin Christopher Lawing, a Concord man charged in the 1996 murder of a Shaw University student.

Lacoy McQueen, 20, was reported missing May 17, 1996, when she never returned to her dorm room after she told her roommate she was meeting Lawing at North Carolina State University's Bell Tower. A construction crew discovered her remains off U.S. Highway 1 near Kittrell nine months later.

Lawing, an N.C. State student at the time, was initially arrested in the case, but prosecutors dismissed a murder charge against him because of a lack of evidence.

He was charged again in December 2014 after investigators who refused to give up on the case used scientific tests not available in the 1990s to once again connect him to the murder. He is now on trial for first-degree murder.

Several friends of Lawing's took the stand Wednesday and tried to recall the day McQueen disappeared.

His former roommate, Jason Hillger said he recalled a woman being in the dorm room with Lawing that day, and Lawing asking him to leave for a couple of hours.

"He asked me to leave because they were discussing some things," he said.

Another friend, Richard Enoch, recalled a fight between Lawing and McQueen, where he said Lawing grabbed her by the shoulders.

"I grabbed (Lawing) and told him to calm down," Enoch said. "I don't remember what was said, but I remember breaking up the argument."

On Tuesday, McQueen's college roommate, Stephanie Jeffries Jones, said McQueen was pregnant, and that she and Lawing had been arguing about the pregnancy when she disappeared.

Officers from different agencies that investigated McQueen's disappearance, which began with campus police at N.C. State and Shaw University, testified that Lawing's stories were inconsistent and that he appeared to be nervous when giving initial statements.

Initially, Lawing denied seeing McQueen the day she disappeared, but then he admitted to meeting her to discuss the pregnancy.

"I asked him why did he lie about it," said Detective D.A. Proctor, a former Shaw University police officer. "He said he did not want people to know they had been arguing."

Lawing told police McQueen stormed off and got into a car with two men he did not know.

Testimony will continue Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. on WRAL.com


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