Man indicted in 2002 death of Apopka woman

Dwight Berch faces first-degree murder charges in death of Tina Lawson

Published On: May 15 2013 04:12:53 PM EDT   Updated On: May 15 2013 06:05:11 PM EDT
Dwight Berch
APOPKA, Fla. -

A man has been indicted on first-degree murder charges on Wednesday in the 2002 death of a 25-year-old woman.

54-year-old Dwight Berch faces first-degree murder charges in the death of Tina Marie Lawson, according to Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton.

Lawson's body was found at a construction site in Apopka's Errol Estate neighborhood back in December 2002. Police said Berch was a truck driver who had worked on the construction site in 2002.

Apopka Police said they developed Berch as a suspect in Lawson's death in 2010, when he was convicted for another crime and his DNA was entered into a database. Police said they didn't have enough evidence to arrest Berch at that time.

Berch is currently in the Department of Corrections serving a three year sentence for a conviction for aggravated assault with a weapon.

"We were under the gun when we found out he was supposed to be released in 6 days," said Apopka Police Chief Robert Manley. "We did not want him to get back on the streets to commit another heinous crime."

He was also arrested in 2001, a year before Lawson was killed, for allegedly attacking a prostitute with a knife.

Police said they recently went back through the evidence and got another DNA sample ,which allowed them enough evidence for an indictment.

"With the new technology that we have today, to solve crimes the bad guys need to know that we're always looking for them and were finding ways to find them and what happened in this case is an example of that," said Manley.