Tragic Crime May Have Involved Man's Own Grandson


Pickaway County Sheriff's Deputies said multiple arrests have been made after an 84-year-old grandfather was found murdered and his home was burglarized.

Thomas Whitson, 84, was found shot Sunday afternoon in his Orient home on Darby Creek Road. Investigators now say his own grandson, and several of his acquaintances, may have played a role in his death.

Deputies arrested Thomas Whitson's grandson, Shaun Lawson, in West Columbus Monday and charged him with aggravated burglary and theft.  Kyle Robinson, Joshua Johnson and two 17-year-old boys were also arrested and charged with aggravated burglary and theft.

Investigators said the five suspects stole seven firearms from Whitson's home.  Deputies found several of those stolen firearms inside a home on West Park Avenue in Columbus.  That's where three of the suspects were arrested.  An additional stolen gun was found in a second home in the Forest Creek Subdivision in Grove City.

The Pickaway County Prosecutor's Office is now reviewing evidence gathered by investigators before filing potential homicide charges.

Sheriff Robert Radcliff stated, "This was a very tragic crime as it involved the victim's grandson Shaun Lawson." 

Radcliff went on to say that Lawson showed no signs of remorse.

"She told me her grandfather had gotten killed,” said Mike Bays, a friend of the victim’s granddaughter.

Bays says his death was needless.

"He was an older gentleman, all  you had to do was tell him to sit down and shut his mouth, do what got to do and be done with it."

The case remains under investigation.

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