Ohio Man Pleads Guilty To Providing Gun Used In Westerville Police Killings

May 31, 2018

The man charged with providing the gun used to kill two Westerville Police officers has pleaded guilty and now faces up to 10 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Gerald Lawson, of suburban Cleveland, bought the handgun that 31-year-old Quentin Smith used in the February slayings of Westerville officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli.

Lawson pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aiding and abetting a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Lawson's family and public defender didn't comment. No sentencing date was set.

A criminal complaint says Smith gave Lawson the money to buy the gun last summer along with $100 for completing the transaction. Smith wasn't allowed to have weapons because of a previous burglary conviction.

Lawson originally pleaded not guilty, and was being held in jail without bond.

Smith has been indicted on two aggravated murder charges, which carry the possibility of a death sentence. He remains in jail after being denied bail.