Woman arrested for rolling pin beating

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   A 62-year-old city woman was arrested and charged with assault after she reportedly struck her ex-husband and his wife with a kitchen utensil while they were visiting her residence from out of state.
   Delores Ann Lawson, of 200 West Doe Ave., Apt. 6, was arrested by Elizabethton Police Department Ptl. Shannon Peters and charged with assault and aggravated assault after attacking the elderly couple from New Mexico at approximately 11:30 Tuesday morning.
   According to Peters, Lawson's ex-husband, Douglas C. McPheters, 74, and his wife Barbara McPheters, both of Corona, N.M., had been staying with Lawson at her residence since Jan. 4 of this year.
   On Tuesday, Lawson told the couple that she wanted them to leave. "According to Mrs. Lawson, she advised them she had to go to town and she wanted them to leave and asked them to be gone when she returned home," Peters said in a police report.
   The couple told police that, when Lawson returned home, she became very upset because she smelled smoke from toast Mrs. McPheters had burned while cooking it.
   "Mrs. McPheters stated Mrs. Lawson told her to give her $1,000 for trying to burn her house down and Mrs. McPheters advised her she did not have $1,000," Peters said. "Mrs. McPheters then advised Mrs. Lawson started cursing her and then physically pushed Mr. McPheters out of the apartment and locked the door."
   Mrs. McPheters said Lawson then picked up a rolling pin and assaulted her with it, striking her in the back, the lower legs and on the hand. She said Lawson tried to hit her in the head but struck her on the hand instead when she put her hand up to block the blow.
   "Mrs. McPheters advised she made her way to the door and let Mr. McPheters back in the apartment," Peters said. "At that time Mr. McPheters advised he too was struck by Mrs. Lawson."
   After the couple left the apartment, they said Lawson threw their belongings out the door into the parking lot.
   Mr. McPheters was uninjured in the incident but Mrs. McPheters sustained an injury to her hand in addition to other bruises and scrapes. "Her hand was busted up pretty good. The Rescue Squad came and looked at it and wrapped it up for her but she refused further treatment," he said.
   Peters said that, when he arrived, the couple were in the parking lot of the apartments picking up their belongings, and Lawson was standing in the doorway of her apartment with the wooden object in her hand. Mrs. McPheters described the object as a rolling pin, but he believed the object was a wooden dowel rod similar to the type used to secure a roll of paper towels in an old-fashioned paper towel holder.