ATLANTA - Opening arguments were presented Tuesday in the trial of Timothy Carl Dawson, who is charged with murdering three men, including one from Gainesville, in a downtown Atlanta hotel and another man at a College Park inn four years ago.
The 42-year-old Dawson was stopped for speeding in Memphis, Tennessee, 13 days after the October 18th, 1998, killings at the Atlanta Hilton and Towers Hotel. In Dawson's car, deputies found a 45-caliber pistol and 60 belongings of the victims.
Prosecutor Clint Rucker told jurors yesterday that ballistic tests tied the gun to bullets used to kill 31-year-old Phillip Dover of Gainesville, 51-year-old Ronald Gutkowski of Leesburg, Florida, and 50-year-old Gerrold Shropshire of Altamonte Springs, Florida. The three were in Atlanta to attend an Atlanta Falcons game that weekend.
Rucker, who portrayed Dawson as a cold-bloodied killer, said the same gun killed 19-year-old LaDarius Hawkins in a room at a Days Inn in College Park a few days earlier. All four men were shot in the head while lying on the floor.
Defense attorney Tom West said the evidence was so tidy it pointed to a frame-up.