Dillan Travell Lawson, 23, is listed as deceased at Jackson Correctional Institution, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website.
A former football star at Crestview High School has died at the state prison in Malone, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website.
STORY UPDATE: Lawson’s death at Jackson CI ruled a homicide
Dillan Travell Lawson, 23, who was sentenced on March 4, 2015 in Okaloosa County for willful child abuse and cocaine possession is listed as deceased by DOC. A community source has told the Daily News that Lawson was stabbed to death at the Jackson Correctional Institution, but the DOC public relations department has not yet responded to phone and email requests left Saturday morning to confirm that information.
According to his DOC profile page, Lawson was serving a sentence of three years, six months and nine days at the Malone facility. His incarceration began April 7, 2015 while he is listed as “DOC Out-Custody” on April 1, 2017, which is believed to be the date of his death. Lawson’s name also doesn’t appear among the current inmate population listing at JCI.
While Lawson found himself in the state corrections system at the age of 21, he once was considered among Florida’s top college football prospects.
Following an impressive showing at the University of Florida’s Junior Day in February 2012, Lawson verbally committed to the 2013 class for head coach Will Muschamp. But by the summer, academic struggles — which included Lawson transferring to the Okaloosa Youth Academy alternative school — led Florida to part ways with the recruit in July.
“It was a mutual decision,” Crestview coach Kevin Pettis told Gainesville.com in a July 18, 2012 online blog post. “They told him, ‘You need to work on your academic situation and we’ll be here for you once you get everything squared away.’ He’s back at Crestview now and doing all the things academically that he’s supposed to be doing. But we’re still trying to make up core classes to boost his GPA and ACT.”
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Lawson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds as a junior at Crestview the spring of 2013 and was ranked the No. 351 recruit in the country and No. 51 in Florida by 247Sports. The recruiting website also listed him as a 3-star prospect and the No. 27 outside linebacker in the country.
On top of Florida, Lawson received scholarship offers from Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina and Southern Miss, according to 247Sports.
His first arrest in Okaloosa County was on Nov. 28, 2012 at age 19 for two counts of battery of a pregnant victim (with knowledge) and one count of battery by strangulation. His second listing on the Okaloosa County Jail website was Oct. 9, 2013 for marijuana possession.
Lawson was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail the last time on July 10, 2014, which included the charges that ultimately sent him to state prison for cocaine possession and violation of probation for cruelty to child-abuse without great bodily harm.