Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Patricide suspect given $100,000 bond at hearing

- By I.C. Murrell

A $100,000 secured bond has been set for a man charged with second-degree murder of his father at a residence west of the Pine Bluff city limits.

Ryan T. Lawrence, 19, appeared before Jefferson County District Court Judge John Kearney on Monday in a probable cause hearing.

Prosecutor­s say Lawrence was involved in a domestic dispute that led to a fight with his father, William Bryan Lawrence, 48, at about 7:20 p.m. Saturday on the 6600 block of CC Road.

The suspect’s sister reportedly told authoritie­s her brother and father had gotten into an altercatio­n upon Ryan’s arrival but was unsure why the fight occurred, prosecutor Beth Carson read from a probable cause affidavit.

The sister reportedly witnessed Ryan throw William to the ground and repeatedly stomp him in the face, Carson said.

Deputies did not take a statement from Ryan that evening, saying he was intoxicate­d, but the next day, Jefferson County sheriff’s officers said Ryan indicated he saw an individual in the company of his father that Ryan didn’t want there.

Ryan reportedly indicated he struck his father with an open hand and closed fist in the face and that he struck his father “several times to the head” while he was on the ground, according to authoritie­s.

“Ryan said he was intoxicate­d during the incident, and he was certain his father was intoxicate­d as well,” Carson read from the affidavit.

William Lawrence was transporte­d to Jefferson Regional Medical Center for his injuries and then transferre­d to UAMS Medical Center in Little Rock, where he was pronounced dead at 9:38 p.m.

His body was sent to the state Crime Laboratory to determine the cause of death.

Photograph­s of William Lawrence’s body at the UAMS hospital indicated he suffered multiple bruises in his head, as well as several laceration­s on the top of his head, authoritie­s said.

It was discovered that during the incident Ryan wore boots,

which were collected as evidence.

An off-duty police officer who volunteers at the Watson Chapel Fire Department took Ryan Lawrence into custody without incident, Carson said.

Jefferson County sheriff ’s deputies then transporte­d Ryan Lawrence to the Dub Brassell Detention Center, where he remained at the time of the hearing.

Ryan Lawrence does not have a criminal history. He requested the court appoint an attorney.

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