South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Arrest made in killing of Beltzhoover woman


James Lawrence

James Lawrence, 21, was taken into custody in Homewood on Wednesday morning, August 21, by the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force. He was wanted for the murder of Tiona Jackson on Vincent Street off Warrington Avenue in Beltzhoover.

Members of the task force had developed information that Lawrence was staying at an address on Chaucer Street and they went to the house at 10:47 a.m. After knocking on the front door of the house they heard a woman yell “Don’t shoot! Don’t Shoot!”

Within moments, Mr. Lawrence ran out of the residence through the back door and a foot pursuit ensued. The suspect was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he jumped a fence and continued running onto North Murtland Street.

He was apprehended on the front porch of a house on North Murtland Street and taken into custody.

A search incident to the arrest revealed Mr. Lawrence had a large amount of crack cocaine and cash. Officers also discovered he had a camouflage mask and a pair of black gloves, which were found in a cargo pocket of his shorts.

Task Force members secured the house from where he had fled and found a woman and three additional adult males inside. They also observed an AK-47 rifle lying in plain view on the floor near the back door where he ran out of the house. A bag of ammunition was found near the rifle.

Mr. Lawrence and the woman were transported to Pittsburgh Police Headquarters for questioning. The woman wasn’t charged at the time.

Mr. Lawrence has been charged with criminal homicide for the February 13, murder of Ms. Jackson. He is also charged with the murder of Steven Lee who was killed on March 30, in the 3000 block of Chartiers Avenue in Sheridan.

Mr. Lee was killed after he was confronted by Mr. Lawrence on a party bus stopped at the location.

Mr. Lawrence was taken to the Allegheny County Jail.


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