May 21, 2024

A Nelson County man has been charged in connection to Crystal Rogers case, according to WDRB and court records.

Joseph Lawson, 32, faces charges of conspiracy to murder and complicity to tampering with physical evidence, according to court records. Lawson’s attorney, Kevin Coleman confirmed, to WDRB that the charges are related to Rogers’ case.

Lawson was indicted on the complicity to tampering with physical evidence charge in June. The indictment for the conspiracy to murder charge came approximately one month later, according to court records. Lawson pleaded not guilty to both charges during an arraignment Thursday.

Shane Young, the commonwealth’s attorney in Hardin County, has been appointed as a special prosecutor in the case, according to online court records. An FBI agent has been listed as a complaining witness in Lawson’s court file.

Lawson’s bond is set at $500,000 for the conspiracy to murder charge and $50,000 for the complicity to tampering with physical evidence charge, according to court records. He is due back in court in October.

Rogers has been missing since July 5, 2015. The FBI, along with other law enforcement agencies in Kentucky, have conducted several searches for evidence in her disappearance.

The latest search took place in October when FBI officials searched a farm belonging to the Houck family. The search lasted multiple days and evidence was collected, the FBI said.

Brooks Houck, Rogers’ boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, is believed to be the last person who saw her. Law enforcement named him a suspect early in the case, but he has never been charged with anything in connection to Rogers’ disappearance.

Authorities previously searched the Houck farm before in August 2020. Local law enforcement also searched the property two months after Rogers was reported missing.

In addition to an investigation into Rogers’ disappearance, the FBI is also investigating the death of Rogers’ father, Tommy Ballard. Ballard was shot and killed by an unknown subject while hunting with his grandson in 2016, according to law enforcement.

He had been trying to get answers regarding his daughter’s disappearance and created “Team Crystal,” a group of community members dedicated to finding his daughter, according to the FBI.

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