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Falls Church man Mark Lawlor convicted of capital murder of Genevieve Orange

Mark E. Lawlor
Mark E. Lawlor
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Lawlor was living in transitional housing at the Prestwick, now called the Jefferson Apartments, after serving five years in prison for abducting an ex-girlfriend in Great Falls. Twice after his release, he violated his probation and was re-incarcerated, records show.

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Lawlor suffered from mental health, drug and alcohol problems and had been under the supervision of the Fairfax Alcohol and Drug Services office, though the office said he was not under its supervision at the time of the slaying.

Orange was a native of the Roanoke area, a 2001 graduate of Virginia Tech and a devout Christian. She was a popular member of McLean Bible Church, where she sang in the choir, volunteered with a children's group and attended Bible study groups.

Some of her friends from the church sat through the entire trial, which featured grisly discussions of the crime scene and bloody photos that weren't shown to the audience.

On the afternoon of Sept. 24, 2008, Lawlor went to Arlington County's Green Valley neighborhood in search of crack and met Mike Johnson, Johnson testified. No crack was available, so Johnson offered to help him buy some in the District, he said. The two proceeded on an 11-hour bender of buying and smoking, consuming a case of beer along the way, according to Johnson.

During a third round of crack-smoking, Johnson testified, Lawlor became "real crazy." At some point, the two left the apartment, but Lawlor doubled back and wouldn't let Johnson in. Lawlor brandished a butcher's knife, the two fought in the hallway, police were called, and Johnson left the Prestwick.

At some point in the following hours, Orange was killed. Semen found on her thigh, stomach and pubic hairs matched Lawlor's DNA. Morrogh said Lawlor raped her.

Morrogh said that Lawlor had obtained Orange's apartment key from the office; brought a hammer to her apartment; killed her and then tried to clean up some of the evidence; exited through a back door, on which Orange's blood was found; returned the key to the office; and disposed of his bloody clothes and the hammer.

"This crime, far more than most," Morrogh said, "was very well planned out."

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