Eight years after Crystal Rogers, a mother-of-five, vanished from her Kentucky house with out a hint throughout the Fourth of July weekend of 2015, a person has been charged in connection along with her disappearance and homicide.
Joseph L. Lawson, 32, was indicted on fees of legal conspiracy to commit homicide and complicity in tampering with bodily proof, in line with Nelson County circuit court docket paperwork.
New fees in eight 12 months outdated case
The cost of conspiracy to commit homicide was filed July 24, and the cost of tampering with proof in June.
Although the indictment didn’t point out Rogers by title, it mentioned that on July 3, 2015, and/or July 4 2015, “the above-named Defendant, dedicated the offense of Prison Conspiracy to Commit Homicide, when, with the intention of selling or facilitating the crime, when he agreed to help a number of individuals within the planning or fee of the crime or an try or solicitation to commit the crime, when he, and/or a co-conspirator, deliberately brought on the dying of one other.”
Lawson was arraigned Thursday, the place his indictment was learn out and the court docket entered a plea of not responsible for him. His bond was set at $500,000 money.
An lawyer for Lawson, Kevin Coleman, declined to remark. He’s due again in court docket on Oct. 26 for a pretrial convention.
NBC affiliate WLEX of Lexington spoke with Rogers’ grandfather, Until Ballard, who confirmed that the FBI contacted kin to allow them to find out about Lawson’s arrest.
Rogers’ disappearance and father’s mysterious dying
Rogers had not been seen or heard from because the night of July 3, 2015. That day, her pink Chevrolet Impala was discovered deserted with a flat tire at mile marker 14 on Bluegrass Parkway along with her keys, cellphone and purse inside, in line with the FBI’s workplace in Louisville.
Her mom reported her lacking two days later.
Brooks Houck, Rogers’ boyfriend on the time of her disappearance, was named a suspect by police in October 2015, as he was one of many final individuals to see her on the Bardstown house the place they lived with their younger son. He has by no means been charged.
In asserting Houck was a suspect, Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly mentioned he believed Rogers was lifeless. Her physique has not been discovered.
Over a 12 months after Rogers vanished, her father, Tommy Ballard, was shot and killed by an unknown assailant on his household’s property in November 2016 as he was getting ready to go searching, in line with FBI Louisville. His case stays unsolved.
Investigation renewed by FBI
FBI Louisville took over the investigation into her whereabouts in August 2020. On July 3, the eighth anniversary of her disappearance, the company tweeted it made “important progress in bringing this case to its rightful conclusion” over the previous 12 months.
“We proceed to pursue each out there lead util these answerable for Crystal’s disappearance are held accountable,” FBI Louisville mentioned on the time.
The FBI workplace declined to touch upon Lawson’s arrest.
For years, Rogers’ homicide went unsolved. The case was transferred from the Nelson County Sheriff’s Workplace to Kentucky State Police earlier than it landed within the arms of the FBI. In January, Legal professional Basic Daniel Cameron appointed a particular prosecutor to research Rogers and Ballard’s deaths.
In October, the FBI searched a farm in Bardstown that was one of many final locations Rogers was seen alive earlier than vanishing. That farm is owned by the household of Houck, Rogers’ then-boyfriend.