Man severely burned over a debt - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man severely burned over a debt

Deputy Ellis Keen Deputy Ellis Keen
neighbor Edna Frager neighbor Edna Frager
ASHBURN, GA (WALB) -

An Ashburn man is recovering after he was doused with gasoline and set on fire.  The man accused of doing it is in jail.      

Family members and friends of John Lawson say they still can't believe what happened.   And they're just glad the person accused of burning him is in custody.  

Neighbors along Harrison Avenue in Ashburn are still in shock after John Lawson was set on fire.

"He don't mess with anybody. He always kind of keeps to himself and with his family. He's mainly with his family all the time. So he's a real nice person. So we were kind of shocked," said neighbor Edna Frager.     

Authorities say on Saturday 54-year-old Marshall Hampton went to Lawson's house to collect money, and when Lawson wouldn't give him any, Hampton came back with gasoline, threw it on Lawson and lit a match.    

Neighbors say family members had to pull Lawson out of the home.   He was taken to a Tifton hospital before being air-lifted to the burn center in Augusta.   Turner County Sheriff's deputies assisted the Ashburn Police department in the investigation and tracked down Hampton shortly after the incident, hiding in a cemetery.

"We got an anonymous tip that someone had seen him hiding in a cemetery off of Howell circle," said Deputy Ellis Keen.   "At that time we went to that cemetery and Deputy Wynn actually found him laying between some headstones there and made the arrest."     

Lawson's home now sits empty, still surrounded by fire tape as he continues to recover from his burns. Marshall Hampton is in the Turner County jail. He's charged with arson, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

 

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