Christopher Drew McLawhorn, 24, was charged with criminal homicide and especially aggravated burglary Wednesday.
McLawhorn was arrested Sunday around 4:30 a.m. for drug possession. Officers said he was carrying two bottles of alcohol and a small amount of marijuana. Police said McLawhorn was in the apartment complex that night trying to break into cars and apartment, but killed Ferguson while burglarizing her condo.
Before the arrest, authorities released surveillance video of a man seen in the area apparently stealing from cars and trying to burglarize homes. Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said it didn’t appear that Ferguson, 23, knew her killer.
“From what we can tell at this moment, this does appear to be a random act, a very rare random act of violence in this particular area,” Aaron told reporters.
Officials said when initially asked about the murder, McLawhorn denied any knowledge or participation. However, further investigation led officers to charging him with the murder.
“We think he was there committing burglaries and during the course of the burglary of Ms. Ferguson’s apartment, he committed a murder,” Aaron said.
McLawhorn is reportedly considered to be homeless, although he did stay with a friend from time to time on 14th Avenue North.
WTVF reports that McLawhorn has a limited prior arrest history in Nashville. He was arrested for public intoxication in September of 2015, misdemeanor theft in October of 2015; and failure to be booked on the misdemeanor theft charge in December of 2016.