Man Arrested In Alleged Abduction Faces Numerous Charges

(HARDINSBURG, Ky., October 30th, 2003, 6:30 p.m.) -- A man who was arrested following a two-county ride in which he was allegedly holding his estranged wife at gunpoint has been charged with kidnapping and wanton endangerment, authorities said.

Terry L. Lawson, 42, of Leitchfield, allegedly abducted Amanda Lawson, 23, and their son, Justin, 2, from the parking lot of the Leitchfield Police Department "where they were making a child exchange" on Tuesday, said Breckinridge County Chief Deputy Sheriff Bruce Anthony. The couple was estranged, he said.

The child was dropped off at a relative's home in Grayson County, and police say Terry Lawson then forced his wife to drive on. When the car came to an intersection in Breckinridge County, Amanda Lawson jumped from the car and ran into the Petti-Coat Junction convenience store.

Terry Lawson allegedly followed her in.

"On the surveillance camera, he just came in, grabbed his wife and went right back out," said store clerk Tanya Metzler. She said no one in the store was injured.

As Lawson fled the store, two witnesses outside were Breckinridge County Circuit Judge Sam Monarch and Commonwealth's Attorney Kenton Smith, Anthony said.

Lawson, with his wife, fled north on Kentucky 259 and soon arrived at the residence of an acquaintance as his wife again fled, Anthony said.

Lawson was taken into custody outside the residence without incident after two hours of negotiations.

Warrants were issued Thursday in Grayson County charging Lawson with two counts each of kidnapping and wanton endangerment, said Elois Downs, a worker in the Grayson County Circuit Clerk's office. Terry Lawson also was charged with theft of a handgun, Downs said.

The incident at the convenience store was initially called in to Kentucky State Police as a robbery, but witnesses and authorities later said nothing was taken from the store and Terry Lawson was not charged with robbery.

Terry Lawson was taken to a local hospital for a mental evaluation, where he remained Thursday, according to local authorities.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)