Local News

Sheriff: Jealousy might have led to Person County slayings

Posted September 8, 2010 10:59 p.m. EDT
Updated September 9, 2010 6:18 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.