Suspect arrested in GRACE Marketplace murder

Jail cell
Dan Henson via Shutterstock
James Fitzgerald Lawrence
Courtesy Alachua County Jail James Fitzgerald Lawrence

Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officers arrested one of two men involved in a murder that took place next to GRACE Marketplace last Friday.

According to a GPD press release, officers arrested James Fitzgerald Lawrence, 55, on Wednesday and are trying to locate San Tonio “Tony” Smith, 42. Investigators say both Lawrence and Smith were involved in beating a man to death outside GRACE Marketplace (3055 NE 28th Dr.) at 6:30 a.m. on Friday.

GPD officers were dispatched to the scene around 7:50 a.m., found the deceased man and started their investigation.

Fitzgerald was charged with premeditated first-degree murder and is being held in the Alachua County Jail on a $1 million bond.

GPD asks anyone with information regarding the homicide to call detectives at 352-393-7670. Those wanting to remain anonymous can contact Alachua County Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867 or

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Editor's note: This story has been corrected to remove a reference to a shooting.

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Well was he shot to death, or beat to death?

C.J. Gish

According to the police report, he was beat to death.