Man convicted of 2016 murder, robbery of Indy woman


Lawon Browning

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A man suspected of killing an Indianapolis woman in 2016 has been convicted of murder and robbery.

Lawon Browning was convicted by jury late Thursday night of murder, felony murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced.

Following a lengthy investigation, detectives identified Browning as the sole suspect in Jessica Whitehouse’s murder through witness accounts, cell phone evidence and DNA.

On November 2 of 2016, Whitehouse was found dead in her home in the 4300 block of Norwaldo Avenue. Police say her body had multiple gunshot wounds and her vehicle — missing from her driveway — was discovered several blocks away.

On the night of the murder, police say a witness reported a man driving Whitehouse’s vehicle that matched Browning’s description. The man came from the direction of Browning’s home. Whitehouse’s credit cards and other personal belongings were found in the same area by the witness, authorities say.

A search warrant of Whitehouse’s cell phone revealed that she had dialed Browning’s phone number on the morning prior to the murder. Further analysis by the FBI Cellular Analysis Survey Team showed that the two phones were in the vicinity of the Browning and Whitehouse’s homes on the morning of the murder. Police say Browning had the same cell phone number a month prior to White’s death, and he is confirmed to be using it as recently as November of 2017.

DNA samples from under Whitehouse’s fingernails were tested and analyzed. DNA profiles found under her fingernails matched Browning, who was subsequently charged for his role in the murder in April of 2018.

A sentencing hearing for Browning is set for August 23 at 1:30 p.m.

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