Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- A state attorney's office investigator, arrested on a DUI charge
Christmas morning, has been named a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that
killed a man on McGregor Boulevard.
Charles Lawson, who has
worked for the state attorney's office since 2004, remains in custody
at Lee County Jail. His bond is listed as $750, according to the Lee
County Sheriff's Office website.
The Florida Highway
Patrol is investigating whether Lawson is responsible for killing
Michael J. Sasen, 48, of Fort Myers, who was struck by a vehicle while
walking down McGregor just after midnight Christmas morning.
responsible vehicle fled, but about half an hour later, FHP troopers
pulled over a vehicle driving near the scene that had damage consistent
with striking a pedestrian, according to FHP Lt. Gregory Bueno.
Lawson was driving the vehicle. He refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, and was arrested on a DUI charge, Bueno said.
Lawson has not been arrested in connection with Sasen's death, but he is the only suspect in the investigation.
going to investigate what events he was doing prior to that accident
occurring, and if he and his vehicle were involved," Bueno said. "We
don't want to assume anything or jump to any conclusions."
has impounded Lawson's vehicle and will examine it for physical
evidence including blood, hair or scraps of clothing. Any evidence found
will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab for
processing, which could take several weeks, Bueno said.
was driving a state-issued 2013 Chevy Impala when he was arrested,
according to state attorney's office spokeswoman Samantha Syoen. But he
was off duty and was not acting in the scope of his employment.
enforcement informed the state attorney's office of the arrest
Wednesday morning, and the state attorney's office suspended Lawson with
pay. Today staff started an internal investigation into the case.
declined to speculate on what employment penalties Lawson could face,
but said it is office policy that employees must obey all state and
local laws when driving a state-issued vehicle.
"Any responsibilities he had will just be handled by a different investigator at this time," Syoen said.
an investigator, Lawson's primary duties included picking up witnesses
and bringing them to court. Syoen said as far as she knows, none of the
state attorney's office cases will be jeopardized as a result of
The state attorney's office has requested
the governor's office reassign Lawson's case to another circuit. It's
common practice to reassign any case that might cause a conflict of
interest, Syoen said.
FHP is treating Lawson's case as it would any other death on its roadways, according to Bueno.
"If it warrants charges," he said, "obviously we will charge whoever's at fault accordingly."
Check out some of our most read stories from 2013:
#shortyellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Terrorism Warning: Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Courtroom apology: Woman apologizes for flipping off judge
Weird ice: Strange, giant circles appear on frozen pond
Controversial Club: College student organizes "White Student Union"
CFO Trouble: School administrative chief in trouble over her porn sex blog
Warning Shot Wife: Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband
Science Arrest: Teen girl arrested over science project explosion
Wait, WHAT?? Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Travon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here