MCDONOUGH, GA – A Henry County couple pled guilty Monday in connection to the murder of their Stockbridge roommate.
Frank Lawler, 49, and his 62-year-old live-in girlfriend, Evelyn York, were both sentenced to prison.
Lawler was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after he entered a guilty plea to charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and concealing the death of another.
York pled guilty to charges of concealing the death of another, tampering with evidence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As part of her plea deal, she was sentenced to 25 years with the first 15 years to be served in prison.
The victim, Jonathan Scruggs, 34, was temporarily staying with Lawler and York inside their Stockbridge home back in 2018.
On May 20, 2018, the couple got into an argument with Scuggs over money and the living arrangements. The next day, Scruggs was reported missing.
He was last seen late that night asleep on the couch in Lawler and York’s home.
On May 22, 2018, Scruggs was found dead in the woods off Georgia Highway 42 and Highland Boulevard — approximately a mile from Lawler and York’s home. An autopsy found Scruggs died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
The investigation found that Lawler had contacted friends on May 21, 2018, asking them to burn a couch – the same couch that Scruggs was last seen sleeping on. The defendants had also purchased bleach and had their vehicle cleaned. However, police found traces of the victim’s blood inside the defendants’ vehicle, as well as multiple guns in their home.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brittany Forester and the District Attorney’s Homicide and Gang Unit.