Suspect, 14, Offers to Tell All in West Palm Beach Rape

Jerome Burdi, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, November 2, 2007

Evidence released Thursday in the Dunbar Village rape case shows defendant Avion Lawson is eager to make a deal with the prosecutor.

Lawson wrote twice to prosecutor Lanna Belohlavek and asked for a meeting with her and his lawyer, Bert Winkler. In one of the letters, he also wrote that the motive was robbery because the group thought there was gold jewelry inside.

Despite reports saying 10 people took part in the gang rape, Lawson said six people attacked the mother and son.

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Lawson, who was arrested July 3, denied involvement in the crime before DNA evidence on a condom linked him to the June 18 rape. In his letters he said he, too, was a victim and blamed the attack on another suspect, Tommy Lee Poindexter, 18.

“He had a gun to my head and I couldn’t do nothing,” Lawson wrote. “If I would of ran I would of got shot or be dead. So I had no choice. He put it to my head and said ‘Do it.’ And when I stopped I tried to leave. He told me to get back down or he’ll kill me.”

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Along with Lawson and Poindexter, Jakaris Taylor, 16, and Nathan Walker, 17, face life in prison if convicted of armed sexual battery and other felonies. Police said the group, along with six others, rushed the home in the West Palm Beach housing project, repeatedly gang-raped the mother, beat the son, 12, and then forced him to have sex with his mother. Another hearing is set for Feb. 7.

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“If you would of seen what happened, it’s like your worst nightmare,” Lawson wrote. “Especially what happened to the boy. And it seems like they were having fun. They were laughing and videoing.”

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“I cry every night,” he wrote. “I just want to go home. I just want to go home.”

[Editor’s Note: The AR News story on this crime can be read here.]

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