Jeziah King

Jeziah King

Indiana Woman Charged In Son's Oil And Vinegar Death

December 29, 2010

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — An Indiana woman accused of feeding her young son olive oil and vinegar until he stopped breathing and died and then hiding his body more than a year has been formally charged.

Latisha Lawson, 31, of Fort Wayne faces two felony counts of battery and three felony counts of neglect of a dependent, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Tuesday in Allen County Superior Court. The document also provides details from an interview with Lawson's 10-year-old daughter, who was also allegedly neglected.

DNA results are still pending to definitively determine whether remains found Dec. 21 at a home in which Lawson was living are those of her 3-year-old son, Jezaih King. An autopsy found the cause of death for the young child found in the house to be asphyxia due to compression of the neck.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Lawson told authorities that Jezaih died more than a year ago after she gave him three doses of oil and vinegar and then held his mouth shut for 10 minutes until he stopped struggling.

No attorney for Lawson was listed in court records Wednesday. She was being held in the Allen County Jail on $130,000 bond. An initial court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

During an initial interview, Lawson said she believed her children were possessed by demons, according to police. She also said she could not take Jezaih's temper tantrums.

Police said she told them she gave both children doses of oil and vinegar, but that she left her 10-year-old daughter alone when she spit it out.

According to the court document, the daughter told police how Lawson put Jezaih's body on a couch and called her over to say goodbye to her brother. The girl said her mother then placed Jezaih on a bed and told her to pray over her dead sibling.

A former roommate told police Jezaih died in an apartment on Nov. 19, 2009, according to court records.

Lawson was taken into custody on Dec. 21. Someone tipped off authorities about where she was after media reported that Fort Wayne police were looking for a missing family of three. Lawson's daughter was placed in protective custody.


June 24, 2011

FORT WAYNE - A Fort Wayne woman who forced her 2-year-old son to drink a concoction of olive oil and vinegar because she thought it would exorcise a demon from him has been sentenced to 62 years in prison for his murder and other charges.

Latisha Lawson was convicted in May of the 2009 death of toddler Jezaih King, who died from asphyxia due to neck compression and suffocation. The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reports that Lawson was sentenced Friday to 62 years in prison for murder, neglect and battery charges.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull said Friday that children look to parents to protect them and keep them safe, but Lawson did neither.

Lawson's roommate is scheduled to stand trial later this year on neglect and battery charges.

Kevin Mote

Ax Murderer Receives 45 Year Prison Sentence

December 20, 2010

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Steuben County Superior Court Judge William Fee accepted the recommended sentence of 45 years for Norma Jean Mote’s murder of her husband Kevin Mote.

Unfortunately the reason why Norma Mote murdered her husband is still not clear.

The prosecutor said in all his years, he has never once been unable to figure out why a murder was committed.

Mote's defense attorney said, “The straw that broke the camel's back, I really can't give that to the courtroom.”

Judge Fee said, “We don't know what the tipping point was.”

Norma Mote did take the stand and described a volatile relationship with her now dead husband Kevin.

She talked of years of emotional and physical abuse.

She spoke of having to sleep in a hallway to separate the children from Kevin.

She said there were arguments that day over whether Kevin had smoked marijuana and other lies, all leading up to her killing him.

Kevin Mote's twin sister Karen Friedel said that Norma and Kevin's children had all been given a life sentence.

Norma Mote's sister also took the stand saying Norma faced years of abuse recalling she could never visit her sister without Kevin's approval, and that Norma always spoke with her head down.


STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) - According to the Herald-Republican , Norma Mote pled guilty Monday to murdering her husband with an ax in Steuben County in December of 2009.

On December 18, 2009, police found Norma's husband, Kevin Mote, 56, dead in an upstairs bedroom of their Fox Road home and recovered an ax that the officials would later rule as the murder weapon.

Mote’s plea agreement calls for the minimum sentence under the charge of murder, 45 years.

When Mote entered the courtroom Monday morning, she wore a calm smile and waved at family members in the first row of the courtroom. She communicated silently with them a couple of times, mouthing words as she sat with the other orange-clad jail inmates.

Her court-appointed attorney, Anthony Kraus and the Steuben County prosecutor’s office proffered the plea agreement, and Steuben Superior Court Judge William Fee took it under advisement. It calls for the minimum sentence in Indiana under the charge; the maximum is 65 years and up to a $10,000 fine.

An autopsy on Kevin Mote determined a cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head resulting from numerous strikes with an ax.

Fee briefly interviewed Mote to establish preliminary probable cause for her admission.

“You called 911 to report that you had just killed your husband with the ax?” Fee asked. Mote replied in the affirmative.

“When you struck Mr. Mote with the ax do you remember these incidents?” Fee continued. Mote said yes.

Fee then asked her if she intended to kill her husband. Again, Mote answered yes.

At the time of the arrest, officers said they did not have any concrete motive for the murder, but did have a call to the residence eight years ago for domestic violence.

Steuben County Sheriff Richard Lewis said the couple's two teen-aged kids were home at the time but they were sleeping and told officers they did not hear anything.

Kevin Mote was a maintenance employee at Cameron Memorial Hospital. A hospital spokesperson said he'd been working there since 1996. A co-worker described him as a good guy who was always willing to help out.

Kraus asked for sentencing within 30 days. Mote will be in court Dec. 20 at 8:30 a.m.

Angela Dodson

 Angela Dodson

Man Arrested In Girlfriend's Killing

Woman Fatally Shot Outside Home

December 13, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was arrested Monday in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend on the city's southeast side.  Curt Lowder, 33, was arrested on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Angela Dodson, 32.

Indianapolis police were called to St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove just before 4 a.m., where Dodson had been taken, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Police were originally told that the shooting happened at a convenience store at Southeastern Avenue and Sherman Drive, but later determined that it happened outside Dodson's home in the 1100 block of South Drexel Avenue.

Dodson was transported to Methodist Hospital from St. Francis, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police questioned Lowder and said that he drove Dodson to the hospital.

"Our investigators are diligently working to ascertain the reason that led up to the shooting," said Kendale Adams, Indianapolis police public information officer.

Witnesses told police that Lowder showed up at the house to ask for alcohol before shots were fired.  Police declined to release information about a motive in the shooting.

"Once our investigators have had time to interview those folks, we will be able to come out with a determination as to what led up to this," Adams said.

Christine R. Craig

 Christine R. Craig

Farrell: "I loved that woman to death"

Defendant found guilty in Benton Co. murder trial

By Ava Wilhite, Erin Coduti
December 14, 2010

BENTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - UPDATE: The jury has delivered a guilty verdict for the charge of murder.  The defendant took the stand today in a Benton County trial for a man accused of murdering his fiancée last November.

The defendant, 58-year-old Steven R. Farrell, stands accused of murdering his fiancée, 40-year-old Christine Craig, on the day they had planned to marry.

In the second day of testimony on Tuesday, a witness questioned by the prosecution alleged that Farrell had raped one of Craig's family members before Craig's murder took place.

On the witness stand Thursday morning, Farrell said he had intended to marry Craig on the day of her death. However, Farrell admitted that he had sex with a relative of Craig's on the day of Craig's death. While Farrell indicated that this sex was consensual, the relative was a minor.

Farrell said that he called Craig after having sex with her minor relative because he felt guilty.

Farrell also admitted to having a gun in his hand when confronted by Craig, but said he doesn't remember pulling the trigger. Farrell claimed the gun went off when he fell, and that he had brought the gun to kill himself, not Craig.

Farrell said that he remembers Craig saying, "My god, I've been shot," but he left the state instead of helping her.

Farrell admitted to traveling to Danville, Illinois, after Craig was shot, and buying clothes, a razor, and gasoline. He also admitted to traveling to the Indianapolis International Airport, catching a cab, and buying a bus ticket to Las Vegas, Nevada. Farrell said his intention was to stay in Las Vegas for a few days.

Farrell said he then took another bus to Mesquite, Nevada. Farrell said his intention in Mesquite was to kill himself by overdosing on multiple prescription medications. Farrell was arrested while in Mesquite.

Farrell also admitted in the testimony that he was already married to a Utah resident, and said that the wedding planned with Craig was purely ceremonial.

When Farrell was cross-examined, the prosecutor asked Farrell if he had killed Craig. Farrell replied, "I'm not sure how to answer."

When the prosecutor repeated the question - "You killed her?" - Farrell replied "Yes."

The prosecution submitted as evidence a letter that Farrell wrote to a friend. In this letter, Farrell wrote that a second friend had given him a lot of ways "to do away with Christine."

When given the opportunity to respond to this letter, Farrell said, "I never wanted to kill her. I loved that woman to death."

It took a Benton County jury less than two hours to come back with a guilty verdict for Steve. R. Farrell.

The jury began deliberations at 1:45 p.m. and returned shortly after 3:10 p.m. Farrell was found guilty of murder, a felony.

While the jury was out Farrell changed his plea from not guilty to guilty on a second charge of being a felon in possession of a handgun.

Sentencing for both charges is tentatively scheduled for December 14.


May 17, 1969 - November 27, 2009

Christine R. Craig, 40, West Lafayette, passed away at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, in Benton County.

Born May 17, 1969, she was the daughter of Cindi Armstrong Riehle and Robert Craig.

Chris loved her family and friends. She loved life itself and had a special fondness for animals. She enjoyed playing Bingo, but most of all, she just loved having fun with her kids.

Surviving with are her mother, Cindi Riehle, of Kokomo; her father and stepmother, Robert and Sharon Craig, of Tennessee; her children, Holli, Ann, Jazzlyn and Randy Travenicek, all of Lafayette;one sister, Kim Craig, Tennessee; four brothers, Patrick (Sandy) Craig, Cary Craig, of Kokomo; Rick Craig and Roger Craig; and her grandmother, Virginia Armstrong, of Logansport.

Funeral Information

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, in Fisher Funeral Chapel with celebrant Patricia Fisher officiating. Interment will follow in West Cemetery.

Friends may call from 1 p.m. until the time of services.

Donations Information

Memorial contributions may be made to the Christine Craig Memorial Fund in care of Fisher Funeral Chapel.

Melissa Field

Melissa Field

Husband Kills Wife Then Dies in Car Accident

Mother was stabbed while children were at the home. Husband left the residence and lost control of his vehicle slamming into a tree 4 blocks from the home.

By News Staff Fox59
December 13, 2010

Indianapolis - An Indianapolis mother and her husband are dead, after a violent attack followed by a car accident.

Police received a frantic 911 call to a home in the 4700 block of south Rural St just before 5:30 a.m. Sunday. When medics arrived, they found 44-year old Melissa Field dead from stab wounds.

Three children who were in the home told police the couple had a heated argument which lead to the husband, 51-year old Kevin Field becoming angry and stabbing his wife. The husband then left the home and lost control of his vehicle, slamming into a tree in the 4600 block of Carson. The suspect was killed upon impact.

Police say they have never been called to the home. The couple had two children together.

"Certainly it is one of the more tragic incidents we've had in the last six months, you know, both parents to be so violently taken out of this community, it's really sad," said IMPD spokesperson Kendale Adams.

The children are staying with nearby family members after speaking with homicide detectives.