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Man accused of killing brother-in-law

Domestic violence
Jan. 30, 2013 @ 11:22 PM

COAL GROVE, Ohio -- An Ironton area man will appear in Lawrence County Municipal Court on Friday to face a murder charge, Sheriff Jeff Lawless said, after the second fatality related to domestic violence in Lawrence County this week.

Rodney E. DeLawder, 33, is charged with fatally shooting his brother-in-law, John A. McKnight, 48, with a shotgun Tuesday evening at a home along Ohio 243, Ironton, where the two lived, Lawless said.

The victim's brother, Larry J. McKnight, 46, also of the same address, was injured in the shooting, Lawless said. Larry McKnight was transported to St. Mary's Medical Center in Ironton.

John McKnight was pronounced dead at the residence. He suffered what appeared to be wounds to his upper torso. He was found lying face down on the kitchen floor, according to a press release. Lawrence County Emergency Medical Service personnel were unable to revive him.

"The two were arguing, and it turned violent quickly," Lawless said.

DeLawder obtained a shotgun and is charged with firing it at the McKnights, he said. The shotgun was recovered by authorities outside the residence in Perry Township, Lawless said.

"This is the second fatality this week involving domestic violence," Lawless said. "This has law enforcement concerned. Domestic violence can turn deadly quickly."

DeLawder was lodged Wednesday in the Lawrence County Jail on charges of murder and discharging a firearm into a habitation. Another charge relating to the injuries suffered by Larry McKnight is pending, Lawless said.

After the shooting, DeLawder was arrested without incident at his mother's residence along Private Drive 2548 in the Ironton area, according to the release.

The victim's body will be taken to the Franklin County Coroner's office for autopsy, Lawless said.

In another case of domestic violence, on Sunday a man shot at law enforcement officers in the Ironton area before turning a handgun on himself. The man had been firing shots at the residence of a relative prior to the fatal shooting. The man was identified as Roger W. Crisp, 43, of Campground Road, Waterloo.

His body was sent to the Columbus area for an autopsy earlier this week. Two .22-caliber shells were recovered in the autopsy, Lawless said. No law enforcement officers fired a weapon during the incident.

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