Local News

Sheriff: Jealousy might have led to Person County slayings

Posted September 8, 2010
Updated September 9, 2010

— The Person County Sheriff's Office arrested a man Thursday in connection with the shooting deaths of a married couple late Wednesday.

Michael Norris "Mickey" Lawing Jr., 43, was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Bryant Roberts, 33, and Heather Sloan Roberts, 30. Lawing was being held in the Person County Detention Center without bond.

Investigators said that Lawing went to a home at 171 Birdsong Lane, where the couple was staying as guests. An argument ensued, and it led to gunfire shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday, Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones said.

The Robertses were airlifted to Duke University Medical Center, where they died.

Birdsong Lane in Timberlake Rural area torn apart by double homicide

Investigators are still trying to determine the motive for the shootings, but they said they believe Lawing might have thought a woman whom he was dating or had dated was having an affair with Bryant Roberts.

"He confronted the gentleman about another female that was possibly involved," Jones said, adding that jealousy might have led to the slayings.

During a 911 call to report the shootings, the caller tried to rush the dispatcher off the phone to call the other woman to warn her.

"I've got to get off the phone and call the other person he might kill too," the caller said. "I've got to get off the phone and warn her."

The Robertses had seven children between them, and three were at the house at the time of the shooting.

"It's tough, like I say, when you have a scene like that. It's bad in itself, and then you've got kids involved. It makes it that much worse," Jones said.


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  • jacksviv27572 Sep 14, 2010

    RIP Bryant and Heather. Our family is devastated by this tragedy. I pray that this man gets the death penalty and if not.....please make him live in a cell looking at the pictures of the precious SEVEN children he stole the parents from.

  • ketch79 Sep 10, 2010

    Our family lost a beautiful girl and her husband due to a cold blooded murderer. I cannot even fathom that this has happened. Her mother and sister and brothers are devastated as well as her children. Please pray for them all.

  • mshood7 Sep 9, 2010

    Cold and calculated murder of the worst kind. The only justice is to allow this investigation to go forth and when proven guilty. bring on the death penalty... because they had choice they murdered two innocent people and now because of this man's vile temper he chose to kill. Now justice will only come when he is given the same chance he gave these people....NONE! Rememer his choice. And may God have mercy on his soul.

  • davidgnews Sep 9, 2010

    Since the beginning of time there's been this "one little thing" that will drive a man totally insane. It's been known to bring down empires.

  • wildcat Sep 9, 2010

    Jealousy will get you every time. So sad and yet these type of things continue for some never learn.

  • Weetie Sep 9, 2010

    "Wow - a middle-aged white guy arrested for murder." rargos

    Yes, please explain just what you mean by that?

  • NotAgain Sep 9, 2010

    "and caught off-guard by this SOB..they never had a chance" -newnews

    Your choice of words seems to indicate there was something about this couple's interests that may have put them in harms way in the course of daily activities? I can't imagine the term off-guard being used to describe the average person. Most of us are always off-guard.

  • Justin T. Sep 9, 2010

    RIP and best wishes to the family and friends of the victims.

  • dianeInFV Sep 9, 2010

    I knew Brian since he was a kid. We saw him and Heather recently. All I'm going to say is that Brian and Heather were unarmed and caught off-guard by this SOB..they never had a chance. Now 7 kids are without a parent(s). Bryan had a heart of gold. I was always a fence sitter about the death penalty, but I do believe this incident just swayed my decision.

  • Dale Sep 9, 2010

    "Wow - a middle-aged white guy arrested for murder."
    now that's what I call "diversity" Uh yeah, just because you don't see them making news or local news websites, it happens, and happens a lot...My brother in law and two cousins are some examples. My brother in-law is enjoying his 3rd year of a 25yr to life sentence for killing his girlfriend. I don't know how his case didn't make the news, but it was local.