Jury sends killer to death row for Fort Worth strangulation of girlfriend and her child

A state district court jury in Tarrant County on Wednesday concluded that a man who strangled his girlfriend and her daughter after he raped the 10-year-old in an east Fort Worth apartment should be executed by the state.

After the jury deliberated for about seven hours over two days, Paige Terrell Lawyer was sentenced for his capital murder conviction in the 2018 killings. Lawyer, who is 44, clasped his hands and looked toward the floor when Judge Elizabeth Beach read the verdict at 10:15 a.m. in Criminal District Court No. 1 in Tarrant County. Three sheriff’s office deputies stood to his side and back.

Lawyer killed O’Tishae Womack, whose body was found on her kitchen floor with a plastic grocery bag covering her head, and 10-year-old Ka’Myria Womack, left upstairs on a bed, covered by a blanket.

Both were strangled when, with his hands or arm, Lawyer applied pressure to their necks until they stopped breathing.

Lawyer was indicted in February 2020, and the decision to seek the death penalty in the case was made when District Attorney Phil Sorrells’ predecessor, Sharen Wilson, held the office.

The last time a Tarrant County jury sent a defendant to Death Row was in November 2019 when it convicted Hector Acosta of capital murder. The Mexican drug cartel hit man was found guilty of killing two people in Arlington in 2017, beheading one of the victims, and mutilating their bodies with a machete and a two-by-four.

Today's top stories:

Veteran who died in Tarrant jail sought help for schizophrenic episode

Nuns escalate legal battle with bishop, seek restraining order

Family of teen killed at Fort Worth party seeks info on shooting

🚨Get free alerts when news breaks.

This is a developing story. For the latest updates, sign up for breaking news alerts.