Laughing Louisiana fugitive arrested in Mexico after 32 years on run for attempted murder

Greg Lawson, 63, has spent the last 32 years on the run from the FBI

Amelia Neath
Friday 22 September 2023 07:08 EDT

Louisiana fugitive laughs as he is caught after 32 years on the run

A Louisianafugitive who has spent the last 32 years on the run for attempted murder laughed as he was finally tracked down and captured in Mexico.

Greg Lawson, 63, fled from the US in 1991 after trying to shoot dead his childhood friend Seth Garlington in their small rural community of Ringgold, Louisiana.

Ringgold community members remember the attack as one of the biggest shootouts the small town has ever seen, according to KTBS.

The local outlet reported that the Lawson family was well known in the area with Lawson reportedly getting away with other crimes because of his name.

One day in 1991, Lawson and his friend Mr Garlington got into a dispute and Lawson first ran the victim’s vehicle off the road.

A fist fight then broke out between the two men in a gas station parking lot, before Lawson drew his gun on his friend and shot him.

Mr Garlington survived the shooting.

Lawson was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder but he skipped town before the jury could hand down its verdict.

Now, after 32 years, he has been arrested and will be returned to the US to serve his sentence.

The FBI had followed various leads over the years from tips and alleged sightings across the US, but they had all led to nowhere, the bureaud said in a statement on Wednesday.

The FBI did have a suspicion right from the beginning that Lawson may have escaped to Mexico.

Greg Lawson’s mugshot from 1991

In 2007, the bureau upped its investigation into finding Lawson, offering a $10,000 reward for information on his whereabouts.

Then, earlier this month, a tip came in that he had been spotted in Mexico – leading to his capture almost three decades on.

Agents from Shreveport and Mexico, as well as the FBI and Mexican immigration authorities, worked together to bring him into custody.

On Tuesday, law enforcement tracked Lawson to Huatulco, Mexico, where he was arrested and immediately deported for immigration violations.

Video, obtained by KTBS, showed a laughing Lawson being picked up from the airport as he was taken to the Claiborne Parish Detention Center.

Greg Lawson is seen laughing after his capture

It shows him greeting one of the people in the video in a friendly manner before breaking into laughter while an agent placed handcuffs on him.

The FBI is now working with the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s office to return Mr Lawson to Louisana.

“We want to thank our partners and the public in this case, who never gave up hope that justice could be served for Mr. Lawson’s victim,” said Douglas Williams Jr., special agent in charge of FBI New Orleans, in a statement.

“There is no doubt that Mr. Lawson might still be in the wind if our partners in Mexico had not been willing to deal with this so swiftly.”

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