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Crime News

Man Who Said Girlfriend Shot Herself On Highway Is Now Accused In Her Killing, Authorities Say

Lawrence Gray told authorities his girlfriend Katlyn Header committed suicide along I-985 in Georgia, but now police believe he's responsible for the 30-year-old mother's death.

By Dorian Geiger
Katlyn Head Lawrence Gray Pd

A Georgia man who claimed his girlfriend fatally shot herself in their car is now accused in her murder.

Lawrence Gray, 30, told 911 dispatchers his girlfriend Katlyn Head “shot herself” on I-985 in Buford late last month, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department

Gray placed the call around 1:29 p.m. on July 22, police said.

“The suspect in this case, Lawrence Gray, contacted the Gwinnett County Police Department to say that his girlfriend had committed suicide at the side of the interstate,” Cpl. Collin Flynn told Oxygen.com.

Head was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators later “meticulously” combed the crime scene and found evidence that allegedly discredited Gray’s version of events.

“They noticed some things that were not consistent with a suicide,” Flynn said. “They also spoke with witnesses who were at the scene when they first arrived, and spoke with Mr. Gray." 

Head’s death was ruled a homicide by the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office following an autopsy.

“They collected all the evidence, brought it to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office and they came to the conclusion that this was not a suicide,” Flynn said. 

Flynn said a handgun was also retrieved from the car. Law enforcement was unable to specify if the car was moving at the time of the shooting.

Warrants were subsequently issued for Gray’s arrest. He’s accused of assault, aggravated battery, and felony murder in Head’s death. Gray was arrested in Hall County on July 31 on unrelated probation violation charges, according to online jail records.

A possible motive in the alleged slaying isn’t currently known. 

“This is a great tragedy and we’re trying to put the pieces together and what led to this happening,” Flynn said. “We’re trying to figure out whether or not there was an argument, or what exactly happened in the car that day.” 

Investigators are still speaking with witnesses and trying to identify others who may have seen the incident. Flynn said detectives are hoping other motorists who were traveling southbound on I-985 on July 22 may still come forward with information.

“We know a lot of people have dash cams installed in their cars now and we’re hoping that somebody was driving down the interstate when this initially happened and can provide us with some video that would help investigators build their case,” Flynn said.

Gray is being held at a county jail in Gainesville, Georgia. Officials expect he'll soon be transferred back to Gwinnett County to face charges in Head’s murder investigation. It’s unclear if he has retained legal counsel. 

The accused 30-year-old appears to have a history of domestic violence allegations. In 2017, a separate woman filed a family violence protective order against Gray in Hall County, according to court records obtained by Oxygen.com

Gray was also found guilty of methamphetamine distribution charges in 2019 and was convicted on gun, assault, and terroristic threat charges, as well as synthetic cannabinoid possession and obstructing police in 2018. In 2012, he was found guilty of driving under the influence, court records show.

Head also had past arrests on drug charges stemming back to 2017, according to additional court documents. 

A life celebration for Head was held late last month, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a family friend. More than $5,000 was raised to cover Head's funeral expenses and other costs. She leaves behind a son. 

“We laid Katie to rest today,” the family wrote on the fundraising platform. “Because of everyone’s generosity we were able to give her the send off we wanted her to have.”

Relatives weren't immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

Investigators are urging anyone with information in the case to call Gwinnett County Police Department at 770-513-5300 or by submitting an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by calling 404-577-8477.