Cell Phone Video Aides in Murder Conviction for Shooting Death

A Newton man will spend up to 23 years in prison after his conviction for second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by felon during Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Lakeith Marshaun Lawrence, 24, was given an active prison term of 18 to 23 years by the Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, following his guilty plea.

The defendant will serve his sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections for the November 19, 2015, shooting death of 45-year-old Phillip Eugene McLean.

On that date, witnesses indicated that they saw the two men come into contact with each other before they became engaged in a verbal confrontation. The defendant took out a gun and shot McLean in the back of the head. Witnesses saw Lawrence flee the area on foot after the gunshot.

A forensic download of McLean’s cellular phone revealed a video that showed the defendant and recorded the gunshot before the victim fell to the ground.

The possession of firearm by felon charge came from Lawrence’s conviction for attempted common law robbery in May 2013 in Catawba County.

Kim Craig led the investigation for Hickory Police Department. Michelle Lippert and Melanie Earles prosecuted the cases for the District Attorney’s Office.

CONTACT: Nathan Key
Phone: 828-695-6193
Email: Nathan.D.Key@nccourts.org