TIFTON -- A man convicted of felony murder here as a teenager and sentenced to serve a term of life in prison for the 1994 murder of a 75-year-old man was denied parole Monday.

A man who was convicted along with his father in Atkinson County of murdering two Berrien County men is expected to appear before the State Board of Pardons and Paroles in August.

Jesse Christopher Lawson, now 27-years-old, sentenced to life with the possibility of parole on June 13, 1996, was denied on his first appearance before the Board.

On July 7, 1994, according to a press release, Lawson forced entry into the home of Hollis Goddard, 75, and took Goddard's wallet before beating him. Goddard died several days later of brain hemorrhaging caused by his injuries.

Lawson and Goddard were neighbors and, according to Parole Board Vice-Chairwoman Dr. Betty Ann Cook, Lawson admitted to having stolen from Goddard before.

Cook said Lawson was denied parole because of the severe nature and circumstances of the offense.

"It is such a tragedy for someone so young to take the life of an elderly citizen," Cook said.

Cook said Georgia statute mandates that life sentence cases be reviewed at specified intervals. "As seen in this case, however, eligibility for review in no way implies that parole will be granted," Cook stated in the press release.

The Board does not plan to consider Lawson again for parole until March 2011, the maximum length of time set by law.

Lawson is currently serving his sentence in Calhoun State Prison in Morgan.

In a separate case, Thomas Anglin Jr. is expected to appear before the Board in August for review of his life sentence for murder. He and his father, Thomas Anglin Sr., were convicted by a Atkinson County jury for the May 22, 1977 murders of Benjie Tygart and Johnny Luke, both of Berrien County.

Anglin is currently serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole in Valdosta State Prison. According to the State's Department of Correction's web site, Anglin Jr. began serving his sentence Jan. 17, 1978.

Anglin's father is not listed on the site as currently incarcerated and reportedly died in prison several years ago.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles states that Georgia prisoners are now serving longer sentences than ever before, that 57 percent of those incarcerated in Georgia prisons are violent offenders and that more than 6,000 men and women incarcerated in Georgia are serving life sentences.

To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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