Man indicted on murder charge in crash that killed South Oldham grad Chase Lawson

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A man was indicted this week on multiple charges by a Jefferson County Grand Jury over a November 2021 crash on LaGrange Road that killed a 20-year-old man.

Joseph Siami, 27, has been charged with murder, two counts of first-degree assault, first-degree criminal mischief, operating a vehicle under the influence and speeding more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit.

The grand jury returned the indictments Tuesday.

Chase Lawson, 20, of Crestwood, was a backseat passenger in a car driving along LaGrange Road near Hurstbourne Parkway on Nov. 27 when the vehicle was struck by a car allegedly driven by Siami.

Lawson was a recent graduate of South Oldham High School and a sophomore at the University of Kentucky. He was back in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Ron Hillerich, the attorney of his estate.

Siami was initially charged with driving under the influence after admitting he “consumed three alcoholic beverages earlier in the evening,” police said. His blood alcohol level was 0.137%, according to his arrest citation, above the legal limit of 0.08%.

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He had glassy and bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and failed multiple field sobriety tests, according to the citation. He was taken to the University of Louisville Hospital and admitted as a patient before being arrested.

An officer with Graymoor-Devondale Police was the first to respond to the scene. Chief Grady Throneberry told The Courier Journal a week after the crash that Lawson was a passenger in a vehicle that was turning in front of Siami's vehicle on LaGrange Road.

He also told a Courier Journal reporter that no one had been charged, despite Siami's arrest that night for driving under the influence.

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Two other occupants — a man and a woman — that were riding with Lawson were injured, though not critically, Throneberry said at the time.

The posted speed limit in that area is 45 mph, meaning Siami was allegedly going more than 70 mph at the time of the crash.

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"This young man was a perfect 4.0 student at South Oldham and UK," Hillerich told The Courier Journal. "He wanted to be a doctor like his older sister."

"The family, needless to say, is devastated," he added. "It's turned their world upside down."

Siami is set to be arraigned Monday.

Contact reporter Krista Johnson at

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Joseph Siami charged with DUI murder in crash that killed Chase Lawson