Candy Lawson receives maximum sentence for locking sister in closet

Published: Oct. 27, 2017 at 11:50 AM EDT
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(10/27/2017) - Candy Lawson will spend up to 20 years in prison for locking her adoptive sister with special needs inside a closet in her Corunna home.

After a two-week trial, a Shiawassee County jury convicted Lawson of abuse, false imprisonment and embezzlement on Sept. 25 related to how she cared for her sister, Dianna.

Lawson kept her sister, Dianna, locked in a closet for seven years inside her home until a contractor doing renovations discovered the situation in 2015. Dianna, who cannot speak or hear, weighed just 71 pounds when a police officer found her.

Lawson also was accused of misusing government benefits meant to help take care of Dianna. An account set up to receive the funds had been drained to almost nothing, but Lawson could not account for how it was spent.

A judge handed down the longest sentence possible against Lawson on Friday. She will spend 10 to 15 years in prison for the abuse and false imprisonment charges and an additional 40 to 60 months for the embezzlement charge.

During the trial, authorities from Kentucky indicated that Lawson could face more charges there related to the death of her adoptive brother and Dianna's brother years earlier. There was no word on Friday about where that investigation stood.

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