Parrish car bomber sentenced to 18 years prison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Northport convicted in a 2009 car bombing at a home in Walker County has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson sentenced Keith Dewayne Lawson, 43, to 18 years in prison and $771,900 restitution in connection to the car bombing of Franke Weems on July 29, 2009, at Weems' home in Parrish.

U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance announced the sentence in a statement Tuesday afternoon to FOX6 News. According to the statement, Judge Johnson directed the restitution be divided among the bombing victim, Frank Weems, and insurers.

"Keith Lawson and Michael Earnest built, placed and remotely detonated a bomb in a  cold and calculated attempt to murder a man at his home," Vance said in the statement. "Thanks to keen police work by the Parrish Police chief and the immediate support and investigative work of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, the FBI and the Alabama Fire Marshal's Office, these men were quickly caught and brought to justice."

Lawson and Earnest pleaded guilty in December 2009 to charges connected to the car-bombing that seriously injured Weems when the device exploded beneath his truck.  Judge Johnson in March sentenced Earnest to 20 years in prison.

Vance said according to Lawson's plea agreement, Lawson had agreed to kill Weems for $10,000. Components of a homemade bomb collected at Weems' home were later traced to Lawson and Earnest. The remnants of the bomb included a remote-control device that was traced to a remote-controlled toy boat that Lawson and Earnest bought at a Walmart in Northport a few days before the bombing.

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.