Texas police arrest Louisville murder suspect


by Ellen Werner


Posted on July 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 11 at 6:48 PM

WHAS11.com -- A man wanted in connection with a March, 2013 murder in Louisville was arrested in Dallas County, Tx., Wednesday, court records indicate.

In March, WHAS11 reported on the warrant issued for the arrest of Gerry Lawson, 53. On Wednesday, Lawson was arrested in Texas and extradited to Louisville on charges including murder and arson.

Police said Lawson is responsible for the March 3 death of Vernice Aniton, 64. Lawson murdered Aniton, police said, in her Louisville home and then set the home on fire, allegedly to hide evidence.

The Louisville Metro Fire Department arrived at the scene after responding to a call reporting a residential structure fire, according to the police report.

In the process of putting out the fire, the LMFD found Aniton's deceased body.

Officials ruled Aniton's death a homicide after the autopsy revealed her body showed signs of trauma and determined that she died prior to exposure to the fire.

An investigation of the scene led to the discovery of materials used to fuel the fire, which, the police report states, indicated the fire was set intentionally to conceal the crime by destroying the property and any evidence.

The fire started in Aniton's home and then spread to her neighbors' residence, which was occupied by seven individuals during the time of the fire.

Police wrote in their report that Lawson's intentional actions also subjected Aniton's corpse to inhumane treatment and caused the death of a dog and a cat in her home.

Lawson is charged with murder, arson, tampering with physical evidence, abuse of a corpse, seven counts of wanton endangerment, and two counts of animal cruelty.

WHAS11's Maggie Ruper has more, click the video player above to watch.