Prosecutors say man intentionally stabbed, ran over ex; defense argues he lost control

Jim Melwert
January 14, 2020 - 1:38 pm
Lawrence Crawley

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — As the murder trial gets underway for the man accused of running over his ex-girlfriend repeatedly in 2018, prosecutors argued Tuesday that he planned out her murder, while the defense said those were the actions of a man who had emotionally lost control. 

During opening statements, prosecutor Allison Ruth said 34-year-old Lawrence Crawley drove from Philadelphia to Whitemarsh Township, armed with a hammer and two knives, for one reason: to kill his ex-girlfriend, Angela Stith. As Ruth put it, if he couldn’t have her, no one could.

Crawley stabbed Stith four times so violently that the blade went 10 inches down into her chest and the handle of the knife broke off. He then ran over her with his car four times in the parking lot of her job.

Jurors also listened to the 911 call and watched surveillance video of the attack.

In the call, Stith’s Vector Security co-worker told the 911 dispatcher that the blade was stuck in Stith’s body. As Crawley started to run her over with his Chevy Avalanche, the caller screamed, saying she can’t even help Stith because he keeps running over her.

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Although defense attorney Carrie Allman conceded that Crawley killed Stith, she said if he had in fact plotted the killing, then he wouldn’t have done it where people knew him and where he knew there’d be an audience.

Allman said this is not first-degree murder because there was no specific intent. She called their relationship complicated, saying the killing was rooted in rage from someone who had been set off and whose actions were out of control.

After he killed Stith, police say Crawley called his mother and admitted he killed her. He said he was sorry and that he was going to kill himself.   

When he was spotted by police on the turnpike in Western Pennsylvania, he doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire.

Crawley experienced third-degree burns on 27 percent of his body and was in a medically induced coma for several days.