A three-decade-long manhunt came to an end on Tuesday after a tip to the FBI led to the capture of Greg Lawson.
The FBI’s New Orleans field office received a tip earlier this month that Lawson was in Mexico, according to the bureau’s statement on his capture. Agents in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Mexico coordinated with the FBI headquarters and Mexican immigration authorities, leading to Lawson’s arrest in Huatulco, Mexico.
The search for the 63-year-old man from Bienville Parish, Louisiana, began in May 1991. Lawson was convicted of attempted murder but fled before he could hear the verdict. His truck was found a block away from Claiborne Parish Courthouse, where the trial was to take place, according to KTBS.
Lawson’s family was well known in Bienville Parish. He grew up in Ringgold, as did Seth Garlington, the man he shot, the outlet noted.
A dispute between the two led to Lawson forcing Garlington’s vehicle off the road followed by a fistfight in a gas station parking lot. Guns were drawn, and Garlington was shot but survived, per the outlet. A Bienville Parish grand jury indicted Lawson for attempted second-degree murder.
Lawson reportedly got away with numerous crimes during his life because of his family’s status, per KTBS.
The fugitive had long been on the FBI’s radar. In 2007, the bureau offered a $10,000 reward for information on his whereabouts, per the outlet. (RELATED: REPORT: Police Capture Danelo Cavalcante, Ending Manhunt For Escaped Convict).
“Throughout the years, the FBI ran out numerous leads across the United States, based on various tips and alleged sightings,” the FBI said in its statement. “From the beginning, the FBI suspected Lawson had fled to Mexico.”
Mexican officials deported Lawson for immigration violations, and he is now in a Louisiana jail awaiting action from Bienville Parish authorities, according to a Twitter post by FBI New Orleans.
The three-decades-long search for a man convicted of attempted murder is over, thanks to a tip received by #FBINewOrleans. This morning, 63-year-old Greg Lawson is back in a Louisiana jail awaiting action by Bienville Parish authorities. https://t.co/HGdL4xJvHg pic.twitter.com/kVLfx8O7dS
— FBI New Orleans (@FBINewOrleans) September 22, 2023
“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 A. Williams Jr., special agent in charge of FBI New Orleans, per the 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.”