Police believe the couple left the boys inside the submerged car

By Harriet Sokmensuer
December 08, 2020 02:27 PM
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Credit: Mullins Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Service

A Florida father and his girlfriend have been charged in connection to the deaths of his two young sons after they died in a car crash the day before Thanksgiving.

Kenneth Wayne Lawson has been charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter in the deaths of his 7- and 10-year-old sons, Interim Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore announced during a Friday afternoon news conference, the Fort Myers News Press reports.

Lawson's girlfriend, Julia Ann Drudy, has been charged with permitting an unauthorized operator to drive.

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Lawson is accused of driving drunk with Drudy and his sons in the car on Nov. 25 before crashing his Ford Focus into a canal.

Cape Coral police responded to a call reporting the crash shortly before midnight. Upon arrival, first responders and good Samaritans jumped into the water to save the boys. However, both children died as a result of the crash.

Credit: Cape Coral Police Department

Police believe that evidence shows either Lawson or Drudy got out of the car and left the two boys, identified by WINK and NCB2 as 10-year-old John Wayne and 7-year-old Titus, inside the vehicle.

Credit: Cape Coral Police Department

According to an online obituary, the young brothers were close.

"John Wayne loved playing video games; he considered himself an inside kid. He loved math, science, and playing Pokémon go with Aunt Tammie," the obituary says. "Titus loved school; recess and gym were his favorite. He loved riding bikes and playing outside. He was an avid gamer and played tons of Fortnite. They loved their sister a lot and missed her dearly."

Attorney information for Lawson and Drudy was not available Tuesday.