Local Man Gets Death Penalty for Killing Ex and Her 10-Year-Old Child

Paige Terrell Lawyer (2018) | Image by Rutherford County Sheriff

A Euless man was given the death penalty by a jury in Tarrant County Wednesday after being convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter in 2018.

Paige Terrell Lawyer, 44, was sentenced to death on April 24, having been found guilty of capital murder during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial last week. Jurors had the option of sentencing Lawyer to life in prison but deemed that the nature of his crime warranted the death penalty, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Medical examiners previously determined that O’Tishae Womack, 30, and Ka’Myria, 10, died of strangulation. Womack was a resident of Fort Worth and left behind twin 4-year-old boys, Zayden and Kayden.

O’Tishae was found by her sister Lashundra Womack, who went to her apartment after the deceased failed to show up for their daily walk, according to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. O’Tishae was found on the kitchen floor with a plastic bag over her head and was bleeding from her face. Ka’Myria was found in an upstairs bedroom covered by a blanket.

“He brutally, with no justification, took the lives of two people,” Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Lloyd Whelchel told the jury. “He is not going to change. … He is going to be a future danger. And you know that.”

Police had been called to the residence on two previous occasions, both times over reports of domestic violence. Lawyer was accused of attempting to strangle Womack on both occasions.

“Two lives were extinguished that day,” Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Dale Smith said. “Both died as a result of strangulation, the defendant’s calling card.”

Lawyer fled Texas after committing the crimes and was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, near Nashville a week later, per a report by Fox News. He is said to have confessed to his uncle, but it is not clear if the uncle notified law enforcement of the man’s whereabouts.

During the trial, prosecutors told the jury that Lawyer may have killed O’Tishae to prevent her from testifying against him in an upcoming domestic violence trial. During sentencing, jurors also learned that Lawyer had sexually assaulted Ka’Myria.

Lawyer’s DNA was found on the knot in the bag around O’Tishae’s head, under O’Tishae’s fingernails, on Ka’Myria’s shorts, inside Ka’Myria’s underwear, on a bleach bucket, and on a Lysol can. Lawyer’s fingerprint was also found on a mop handle in Ka’Myria’s blood.

The jury deliberated for roughly seven hours over two days before returning with the death penalty sentence.

“Your horrendous act has devastated our family,” O’Tishae’s sister Lashundra said after the sentence was read. “You took a huge chunk of our hearts. … You forever will be known as a murderer, a rapist, and a coward.”

Texas has approximately 180 inmates on death row currently. The most recent execution was on February 28, 2024, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. According to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the last Tarrant County death sentence was in November 2019, when a convicted drug cartel hitman was sentenced for the death of two people, one of whom was beheaded with a machete.

In Dallas, there have already been 65 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters this year, according to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard. FBI data showed Dallas police cleared just 39% of homicides in 2020.

Making the situation worse, the City allocated only $654 million to fund law enforcement, a significantly smaller budget than other high-crime cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. The Police Department currently employs around 3,000 officers, but according to a report from the City, about 4,000 officers are necessary to ensure public safety.

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