Dawson killer draws life jail sentence
Ryan Trenard Harrison was convicted by a Denton County jury after deliberating for seven hours.
158th District Judge Jake Collier handed down the life sentence, which was automatic since the state did not seek the death penalty.
Dawson, 21, was found dead March 27, 2009, in his sport utility vehicle on an I-35E service road in Lewisville.
A 2005 graduate of Rockdale High School, he went on to the University of North Texas on a football scholarship and played in 31 games for the Eagles.
He was a UNT senior at the time of his death.
Police found one of Dawson’s acquaintances who told them he had given Harrison’s phone number to Dawson.
Police said that man heard the next day that Dawson was missing, called Harrison and was told “things went left.”
Harrison was arrested March 31, 2009, in Dallas.
An autopsy found that Dawson died due to multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
Dawson had been planning to attend Tarleton State and apply for a medical red shot status through the NCAA which could have given him another year of playing eligibility.
The Denton County Prosecutor’s Department subpoenaed about a dozen persons to provide information at the trial.