Man on trial for shooting, killing teens who trespassed on his property

Posted at 10:33 AM, Jul 17, 2017

A Jackson County man accused of shooting and killing two teens who were trespassing on his property last summer in Springport Township has a trial that begins today.

54-year-old Tracy Lawrence is facing two counts of second degree murder and a felony firearm charge for gunning down the teens. His lawyers will be arguing that was done in self-defense.

On Friday, at a pre-trial motion hearing, a judge ruled in favor of Lawrence's lawyers, allowing them to use evidence that the teens were involved in a string of break-ins the morning of their deaths. Lawrence's lawyers say he feared for his life which justified the killing.

However, prosecutors say the shooting was not justified and that the teens were unarmed. They claim Lawrence yelled at the teens to get off his property, the two were running away but Lawrence still opened fire.

Lawyers will begin the process of choosing a jury Monday. If found guilty of second-degree murder, Lawrence faces up to life in prison.