Springport man accused of shooting, killing trespassing men heads to trial


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — In the preliminary exam for Tracy Lawrence, new details came to light about what led up to the shooting outside his Spingport Township home in June.

The preliminary examination was held Monday morning in Jackson County Court.

53-year-old Lawrence is charged with two counts of second degree murder in the shooting deaths of two men.

Giving testimony at the hearing, Chief David Luce of the Springport Township Police Department said he was the first investigator to talk with Lawrence.

“He advised that he was sitting inside. Looked outside and saw two subjects in his backyard,” Chief Luce said.

Those two subjects were Hunter Lentz and Matthew McMillen, both 18 year olds from Jackson.

“And then he grabbed his rifle and went out to the back porch to confront them,” Chief Luce said.

According to investigators, Lawrence told them he saw the men trying to get into his truck and an out-building.

He claims, after yelling at them to get off his property, they started to run toward him and he opened fire.

“He advised that when he did shoot, he was not trying to hit them,” Chief Luce said.

In all, 6 shots were fired.

Investigators say both men died from a single gun-shot wound as they tried to run away.

“Manner of death is homicide,” said Dr. Patrick Cho, a medical examiner from Jackson County.

Near the scene, police found a hatchet and pry-bar that belonged to the men.

Also close by, officers found their pick-up truck, which had a third suspect hiding inside, along with what police say were stolen tools from a previous crime.

The defense has argued that this was an act of self-defense, and Lawrence should be charged with manslaughter.

However, Judge Joseph Filip stuck with the second-degree murder charges, sending this case to circuit court for a trial.

No trial has been set.

Lawrence is out of jail, free on $25,000 bond.


We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s