Four Bledsoe County men charged with the February beating death of a Cumberland County man were to appear in court last week but a hearing on the murder charges was postponed because DNA tests are still being conducted at the state crime lab, the Chattanooga Times Free-Press reported.

Lonnie Lee Angel, 30, Preston Parker, 30, Ray Anthony Tullos, 47, and Clinton Allen Watson, 36, are charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in the beating death of Donnie Lawson, 43.

Authorities have said that the fatal fight that left Lawson dead took place at a cookout on Norwood Rd. Investigators said that the fight stemmed from a dispute over a fire in 2008 that killed Angel's brother, Clyde.

The four men were indicted by the grand jury in March.

Attorneys for the four defendants are still filing discovery motions in the case, the Chattanooga newspaper reported, and the state has provided those attorneys with evidence that they have to date. Both sides are waiting for the results of certain DNA tests.

There was no evidence of guns or knives being used during the assault, a Bledsoe County Sheriff's investigator was quoted as stating, but evidence was taken from the crime scene and submitted to the TBI Crime Lab in Nashville for analysis.

Because the results of those tests were not available for last week's hearing, the hearing was reset for June 22.



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