Man arrested for beating another man to death outside GRACE Marketplace
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - One of the two men accused of beating a man to death outside GRACE Marketplace is now behind bars.
Last Friday, James Lawrence, 55, and San Tonio Smith, 42, and another person were having a conversation near a cut in the fence on the Northeast side of the shelter. The victim approached the group and an argument began.
According to the arrest report, Smith and the victim began to wrestle. Smith then body slammed the victim and started punching him. Lawrence grabbed the victim by the wrists, pinning him down while Smith beat the man to death.
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Officers interviewed witnesses who identified Smith and Lawrence as the murder suspects. An autopsy confirmed the victim died of blunt force trauma.
Lawrence, who has a long history of violent crimes, is charged with first-degree murder and is being held at the Alachua County Jail on a $1 million bond. He was previously charged in numerous felony assault and battery cases dating back to 1985.
Gainesville Police Department officials say they are still looking for Smith. They ask anyone who has any knowledge or knows of any evidence related to this incident to contact the Alachua County Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867, www.stopcrime.tv, or GPD Detectives at 352-393-7670.
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