Double Murder Trial Continues in Bradley County

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Harrison Pirtle
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Updated: 1/15 6:37 pm
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN. (WDEF) Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of Aaron Lawson.
He's accused of killing the grandparents of his 11-year old daughter in April of 2011 in Bradley County.

The prosecution says 34-year old Aaron Lawson ambushed Eddie and Debbie Phillips at their home on the evening of April 19th, 2011.
Lawson's attorneys say, it could have been self-defense, or another person.

Prosecutor Stephen Hatchett spent the day laying his case piece by piece, in Bradley county criminal court .

The morning session and most of the afternoon was taken up with testimony by Sgt. Monica Datz.
She's the Crime Scene Investigator who sifted through the evidence found after the shooting deaths of 58 year old Charles Phillips, known as Eddie, and his 54 year olds wife, Debbie.
They died shortly after they arrived home the night of April 19th, 2011.
Each was shot three times.
Prosecutor Stephen Hatchett called on Datz to describe each detail of the crime scene.

STEPHEN HATCHETT, PROSECUTOR "Ms. Datz,did you go to the autopsy of Eddie and Deborah Phillips? Yes,I did. Did you retrieve the bullets taken from the bodies of Deborah and Eddie Phillips, Yes!" .

Hatchett told the jury in his opening statement yesterday and Lawson is the father of the Phillips' 11 year old granddaughter, and there a was running custody fight.
He says Lawson fled the scene tossing parts of a 9 mm weapon out the window of his truck.
After an all-night search, Lawson was arrested at a relative's home on highway 58 in Chattanooga the next day.

Defense attorney Randy Rogers focused attention on a weapon and 8-thousand dollars found in Deborah Phillip's purse.

SGT. MONICA DATZ "It's a Ruger 380 with a magazine,one live round in the magazine and its laying on a zipper case in the open position."

Both Eddie and Deborah Phillip had carry permits. They operated an auto repair garage.

Two dozen family members and friends stayed in court throughout the day, Including Tim Deroos, a family member.

TIM DEROOS, FAMILY MEMBER "They were great people, they didn't deserve this, the way they were taken out." "They were small business owners..and really fantastic people."


The defense indicated it will try to prove another person was involved in the shooting, as the trial continues Thursday in the court of Judge Carroll Ross.

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