On November 18, 2016, an Ascension Parish Grand jury returned a True Bill of Indictment on Justin Smith, 35, of Denham Springs, LA., on the charge of 2nd Degree Murder.
Smith is accused of brutally beating Dusty Lawless, 41, of Ascension Parish in August of this year. Smith, who was originally arrested on battery charges, has been formally charged with 2nd Degree Murder after the victim succumbed to her injuries.
Smith remains incarcerated at the Ascension Parish Detention Center awaiting arraignment. Assistant District Attorney Joni Buquoi is the lead prosecutor on this case.