Man given life, plus 224 years, for killing 3, including son

Posted at 3:21 PM, June 21, 2021 and last updated 7:19 PM, May 12, 2023

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole plus 224 years for killing his 10-month-old son, his ex-girlfriend and her mother in 2012.

Eric Lawson, 32, was convicted in May of three counts of first-degree murder. A jury recommended life in prison without parole, rather than the death penalty sought by the Missouri Attorney General’s office.

Circuit Judge Michael Noble on Monday followed the jury’s recommendation. He added another 224 years after finding Lawson guilty last week of related counts of armed criminal action, arson and child endangerment, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Lawson was convicted of killing his son Aiden; his ex-girlfriend Breiana Ray, 22; and her mother Gwendolyn Ray, 50. They were killed in their apartment on May 5, 2012.

Investigators said Lawson shot Breiana Ray while she was doing dishes and then shot her mother when she came to check on her daughter. He set a fire and locked the door behind him so he wouldn’t have to watch his son die, prosecutors said.

Aiden was found dead in his mother’s arms after the fire. His then 3-year-old sister, Mckenzie Ray, suffered smoke inhalation but survived.

Lawson is expected to appeal.