Lonnie Lee Angel Jr. guilty in Bledsoe County cookout beating death

Lonnie Lee Angel Jr. guilty in Bledsoe County cookout beating death

November 2nd, 2011 by Ben Benton in News

Lonnie Angel Jr., left, is facing trial this week in the 2009 beating death of Donny Lawson during a cookout at Angel's property in Pikeville. At right, is Angel's defense council, Jim Smith, speaking to Circuit Court Judge Rusty Graham.

Photo by Ben Benton/Times Free Press.

A Bledsoe County man was convicted Tuesday in the 2009 beating death of a man during a cookout.

Late Tuesday evening, a jury found Lonnie Lee Angel Jr., 30, guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 44-year-old Donny Lawson, court officials said.

Angel had been charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and kidnapping.

The jury also handed down a $20,000 fine to Angel, officials said. The prison sentence, which will be set later, could range between 15 and 25 years, officials said.

Charges of first-degree murder, felony murder and kidnapping also were filed against three other men -- Preston Parker, Ray Tullos and Clinton Watson, records show.

Parker already is serving 171/2 years in Lawson's death, and Tullos was sentenced last month to 11 years in prison in the case.

Watson's court date is still pending, court officials said.

According to trial testimony, the fight initially began between Lawson and Parker, then was joined by Angel, Tullos and Watson.

Deputies found Lawson unconscious, lying in a pool of blood, and he died later at a hospital in Pikeville, Tenn., according to testimony.