Police: Man lights self on fire after stabbing, running over ex-girlfriend

Thirty-three-year-old Lawrence Crawley is facing first-degree murder and weapons charges.

Steve Tawa
August 03, 2018 - 3:54 pm
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WHITEMARSH TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- Montgomery County authorities say a former boyfriend stabbed and ran over his estranged girlfriend in Whitemarsh Township in front of her co-workers. He now faces murder and other charges. 

As 33-year old Angela Stith was taking a break from her job at Vector Security in a Whitemarsh Township office complex, she went out to her car in a rear parking lot, and authorities say she was confronted by her former boyfriend.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele says surveillance video shows 33-year old Lawrence Crawley breaking the driver's side window and attacking her. When she fled out the passenger's door, he pursued her, throwing her to the ground. Steele says he repeatedly stabbed her. 

Whitemarsh Township Police Chief Christopher Ward says her co-workers tried to help and called 911.

"The whole event was witnesses by co-workers and is on film," Ward said.

Ward says one of them says she stepped back when she saw the suspect in his vehicle approaching the victim.

"The knife blade still exists in her back," he said. "When her co-workers came out and saw this, the subject then entered a vehicle and, on repeated occasions, ran over the victim, essentially crushing her to death."

Steele says Stith and Crawley had some sort of previous relationship and were texting prior to the attack. Both lived in Philadelphia.

Ward says later, 200-miles from the scene, Pennsylvania State Police, who saw the alert go out for him, spotted his vehicle and approached Lawrence in Somerset County, southeast of Pittsburgh.

"At some point, after he was stopped, the defendant did light himself on fire," Ward said. "The troopers who were there were able to save him, by putting the fire out."

Lawrence was taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical, but stable condition.

Lawrence and the victim had prior problems. Investigators say in May, he was arrested following an assault on Stith in which she was choked. Last month, Crawley pleaded guilty to Simple Assault.

Steele says Crawley will face first-degree murder and weapons charges once he is returned to Montgomery County.