I grew up in Southern California. My family and I moved to Huntsville in 2000. My wife teaches high school. We have two sons, my younger son is a senior at Grissom High School. I’ve worked in newspapers for the past 23 years, as a reporter and editor. I’m still new to the TV news business, but WHNT is a great place to learn, filled with smart, dedicated people. I look forward to breaking news and telling great stories that make a difference in people’s lives. If you’ve got a news tip, a comment or a suggestion on what we can do better, I can be reached at brian.lawson@whnt.com


Recent Articles
  • DA’s office victim’s services officer says counseling is critical in sex cases, victims need time

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Tad Cummins will face a federal sex charge in Tennessee after taking 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas and fleeing — over 39 days, and 2,300-miles.  The trail stretched from middle Tennessee to rural northern California before he was arrested Thursday. Unfortunately, the legal system handles thousands of child sex cases each year. Jada Carter, of the Madison County District Attorney’s office is among those who spend their days working to help victims and their families. Carter, a victim services officer […]

  • Federal criminal complaint against Tad Cummins offers grounds for sex charge against him

    COLUMBIA, Tenn. — The federal warrant against Tad Cummins charges him with transporting a minor across state lines with the intent of engaging in sexual activity. Cummins, 50, was arrested Thursday in a rural area in Siskiyou County, California. Elizabeth Thomas, the 15-year-old who’s been the subject of a national AMBER Alert and search, was rescued from the scene, investigators said. She was located more than a month after she was last seen at home in Columbia, Tennessee. The federal criminal […]

  • Grand jury gets case of driver charged in hit-and-run that killed 75-year-old in Madison

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A woman charged in the hit-and-run death of a 75-year-old pedestrian in Madison had her case sent to a grand today by a Madison County judge. During the preliminary hearing for Erica Nail, 26, a Madison Police Department traffic investigator testified a headlight fragment found near the body of victim Carol Ann Arey, fit perfectly into the damaged headlight of Nail’s car. Nail is charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. The case is now […]

  • Alabama Supreme Court panel upholds Chief Justice Roy Moore’s suspension for same-sex marriage complaint

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The special panel assembled by the Alabama Supreme Court to hear Chief Justice Roy Moore’s challenge to his suspension from office has ruled against him. The Judicial Inquiry Commission presented a case to the Court of the Judiciary that Moore should be suspended for sending an advisory order telling probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, six months after the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in its Obergefell decision. The Court […]

  • Mentone man charged with killing his mother with baseball bat wants bond reduced

    DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. – A Mentone man charged with murder in the beating death of his mother in May 2015 is seeking to have his bond reduced from $500,000 to something in the range of $15,000 to $75,000. Attorneys for Tyler Blansit, 23, say he’s been in jail since his arrest, that he’s been unable to make bond and that it should be reduced because he has no prior criminal record. They also contend he is not a danger to the […]

  • Judge says Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin violated federal court order

    DECATUR, Ala — A federal judge today said Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin violated a court order that bars converting jail food money for personal use, but he stopped short of holding her in contempt. U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon said the language in a longstanding consent order concerning operations of the Morgan County Jail is explicit that money given to the sheriff’s office for prisoner meals, can only be spent on prisoner meals. Alabama law allows sheriff’s to pocket leftover jail […]

  • Cullman-area legislator wants judge punished for temporarily blocking Bentley impeachment probe

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A Cullman-area legislator wants a Montgomery County judge punished for his ruling Friday that temporarily stayed the House impeachment probe into now-former Gov. Robert Bentley. Alabama Rep. Corey Harbison, R-Cullman, said he filed a complaint today with Alabama’s Judicial Inquiry Commission against Judge Greg Griffin. Griffin granted a motion by Bentley’s lawyers on Friday for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked impeachment hearings from starting on April 10 and ordering that no efforts toward impeachment […]

  • Judge tosses claims against Robert Bentley in lawsuit filed by his former security chief

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A Montgomery judge has thrown out all the claims against former Gov. Robert Bentley in a much-talked about lawsuit filed by Ray Lewis, the ex-chief of his security detail. Lewis, who provided plenty of information to the House Judiciary Committee’s special counsel in the impeachment investigation of Bentley, filed the lawsuit in November. The lawsuit included a number of claims cited by the special counsel’s report that was released Friday. Those include that Lewis advised Bentley that […]

  • Former Gov. Robert Bentley has to pay thousands of dollars to state, perform community service as a doctor

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Now-ex Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors related to use of campaign funds and received a suspended 30-day sentence from a Montgomery Circuit Court Monday, court records show. The charges were brought by Supernumerary District Attorney Ellen Brooks, who was asked to take over the Bentley investigation by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office in February. The governor pleaded guilty to failing to report a major contribution to his campaign, $50,000, in a timely fashion. The […]

  • Possible criminal case against Gov. Bentley referred to Attorney General’s office

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – WHNT News 19 has learned the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office has contacted the Alabama Attorney General regarding possible criminal charges against Gov. Robert Bentley. Last week the Alabama Ethics Commission referred four allegations against Bentley to the DA’s office.  Daryl Bailey, District Attorney, sent a letter to the Acting Attorney General today saying he did not want to interfere with the ongoing investigation and was referring the matter to the attorney general’s office for a follow-up […]

  • Judge slams brakes on impeachment probe of Gov. Bentley

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A Montgomery County judge put the brakes on the Alabama House’s impeachment process Friday afternoon, directing that no impeachment work – including hearings or a recommendation to the full House – take place until the court holds another hearing May 15. It’s a major change in the House’s timetable. The committee handling impeachment endorsed a schedule that had the full House voting on impeachment – if the committee recommended it – on May 20. But Montgomery County Circuit […]

  • Bentley impeachment report argues governor used state cops to cover up tawdry affair

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The House Judiciary Committee special counsel’s report on Gov. Robert Bentley was released late this afternoon and accuses the governor of directing state law enforcement personnel to advance his personal interests. Much of the report’s focus is on Bentley’s relationship with his alleged mistress Rebekah Mason. “Governor Bentley directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his […]