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Posted at 2:22 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Capital murder trial starts in Fairfax

By Tom Jackman
Tom Jackman

The trial of a Fairfax County man for the Sept. 2008 beating death of Genevieve "Gini" Orange inside her Falls Church-area apartment began Tuesday with jury selection.

With prosecutors seeking the death penalty, the selection process is expected to last about two weeks.

Orange, 29, was a popular member of McLean Bible Church who worked for the Futures Industry Association in Washington. When she didn't appear for work on Sept. 25, 2008, co-workers notified police, and officers found her lying in her living room. She had been beaten with more than 30 blows to the head, authorities said, and her attacker left semen and saliva on her body.

Mark E. Lawlor, 45, worked as a leasing agent in the Prestwick Apartments on Leesburg Pike, where he and Orange both lived. Court records show his DNA matched that left at the scene, and that he previously served five years in prison for abducting his ex-girlfriend in Great Falls. He has been treated regularly for drug and alcohol abuse and mental health problems, court records show.

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh elected to seek the death penalty against Lawlor. He is trying the case himself along with Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Casey M. Lingan.

Defense attorneys Mark Petrovich and Thomas Walsh were appointed to represent Lawlor, and Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jonathan C. Thacher is presiding over the case.

No one had received a death sentence in Fairfax County for 12 years before serial killer Alfredo Prieto, now suspected or convicted in nine homicides, was issued two death penalties by a Fairfax jury in November. Morrogh and Lingan prosecuted that case.

By Tom Jackman  | January 18, 2011; 2:22 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax, From the Courthouse, Homicide, Tom Jackman, Updates  
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