Third arrest made in 91-year-old former legislator's murder - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Third arrest made in 91-year-old former legislator's murder

Jesse Ray Lane (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) Jesse Ray Lane (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
Cynthia Morrow (Source: CPD) Cynthia Morrow (Source: CPD)
Frances Rawl Frances Rawl
Frances Rawl Frances Rawl
The crime scene The crime scene

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield - bio | email and Jackie Faye - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Columbia police have made a third arrest in the murder of former legislator Frances Rawl, who was found dead in his home on Woodlawn Avenue Tuesday night. Investigators also expect to make a third arrest in a burglary that turned deadly.

Cynthia Leola Morrow, 17, was arrested Friday and charged with being an accessory to burglary. Police say she drove 18-year-old Jesse Ray Lane and a 15-year-old to Rawl's home in exchange for a percentage of any money taken during the crime.

Lane was arrested at his home in Hopkins around 8:30pm Wednesday, and the juvenile turned himself in Thursday afternoon. Both teens have been charged with burglary and murder. Lane is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, and the 15-year-old is being held in the detention center's juvenile section. Police did not release the juvenile's name.

Investigators believe the teens entered the 91-year-old's residence with the intent to commit a robbery. Once inside, police say Lane repeatedly struck Rawl in the head and face with a heavy blunt object.

Columbia police officers responded to the 1000 block of Woodlawn Avenue around 4:45pm after someone reported a body being found. Rawl's grandson, Les Rawl, says he got worried when Rawl didn't show up for work at the family business. Les found the body inside the house. He says when he went in the house it was a scene straight out of a horror movie.

"We got here and discovered an elderly gentlemen deceased inside the residence," said Capt. Scott Desrochers.

Rawl was a decorated veteran and former lawmaker. The South Carolina House clerk says Rawl served in the House from 1947 to 1948 and from 1951 to 1952. Rawl also owned the Sedgewood Country Club in Hopkins.

Les said his grandfather never liked the camera or the attention. "He was not a finer things in life kind of guy, he was a 'I am blessed to have what I have and not stress over anything' guy," said Les.

"I haven't closed my eyes, I stared as a blank wall for six hours last night," said Les.

Rawl was killed at the modest duplex where he lived. But he didn't have to live there -- he likely could have lived anywhere he wanted. "Unbelievable, you'd never know he had anything to do with the golf course, he had anything to do with anything," said a neighbor. "You saw him on the street, you'd think he is living below the poverty line."

Rawl worked the cash register, and now Les manages the greens he used to play on as a kid. And soon the golf course no one knew was Rawl's may go to someone else. "If it's his will, there's nothing that would make me happier," said Les.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

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