This week, Final Witness dealt with a young father whose life got cut short. The show, based on true cases, covered the life and death of Andrew Dotson. Using photos and interviews from people involved in the case, the show outlined how Andrew died.
Dotson grew up without a father. His parents divorced when he was just four. For some reason it never occurred to him to use his mother as a role model. Instead he searched for a male figure to show him the way. Unfortunately, the one he chose led him down the wrong path.
The Columbus, Ohio student met Bobbi Hannah in high school. The duo quickly became inseparable. That closeness eventually led to pregnancy. Andrew became a father way before he was ready.
Dotson ran with friends who stole car stereos for a living. That led them to a man named Jimmy Conway. He admired Jimmy’s lifestyle, his huge home, his money and the people who offered him respect. Andrew wanted that too.
Andrew tried to prove himself a big man after another boy started flirting with his girlfriend. Dotson and his friends arranged to meet the guy. He brought friends too. Some brought guns to the meeting. One thing led to another and suddenly someone ended up getting shot.
Andrew tried to go straight after the birth of his son Jacob. Sadly, he soon figured out that $8.00 an hour wasn’t enough to pay the bills. He went back to stealing; this time taking bigger and better things that Jimmy wanted.
Still, the young dad couldn’t get the shooting out of his mind. That’s when he realized he was heading in the wrong direction. Dotson’s sudden uncertainty raised a red flag with Jimmy. He worried the boy might turn on him and rat him out to the police. He decided to make sure that didn’t happen by ordering Andrew’s death.
Jimmy Conway was a fan of the film Goodfellas. He used it as his road map. When the godfather of the film ordered the deaths of those who might turn on him, Jimmy decided to do the same. He told two of his own henchmen to kill Dotson.
The men talked Andrew into going on a job with them. They even got the boy as far as the woods before realizing they couldn’t kill him as planned. When they informed Conway they failed, he made plans to meet them to do the job himself.
Luckily, the boys drugged Dotson before his gruesome death. He was unconscious when they drug him into a Ohio cornfield. Once he was there, Jimmy went in with a pick ax to finish Dotson off. As a finishing touch, he poured lime over the body, hoping it would help it to more rapidly decompose.
As it turns out, however, he used the wrong kind of lime. What he used actually helped mummify the body, which made it easier for the medical examiner to find how Andrew died.
That might have been that had it not been for Andrew’s mother. When her son went missing, she called the police. Having just found the body, the police helped her identify it through her son’s tattoos and dental records.
While Jimmy was under suspicion, the police couldn’t move in too quickly. They feared messing up and letting him slip through their fingers. Unfortunately, Jimmy wasn’t curtailing his own activities. He got into a gun fight in a club parking lot while he was under surveillance. That forced the police to make the arrest before proving Dotson’s case.
It looked is if Jimmy was home free when it came to Andrew’s murder. That is, until Dotson’s mother decided to confront him in jail. Afterwards, he went back to the cell and bragged about the “dumb bi**h” and laughed at her. Then he tried to arrange for the death of the two men who failed in Dotson’s murder. One of them flipped on him for a reduced sentence and Jimmy got convicted and sentenced to death.
Final Witness continues next week, Wednesday’s at 10:00 p.m. on ABC network.