Son’s conviction, parents’ death
Avery Little is sentenced for murder, but his parents’ killing remains unsolved
In January 2014, Loressa Little watched in horror as her 20-year-old son, Avery, stabbed and fatally shot a man on her Northwest Baltimore porch.
The next day in an interview room in Baltimore police headquarters, she begged detectives not to involve her in the case.
“I don’t want to be a witness,” the 43-year-old told detectives.
“I understand you don’t want to be involved,” said Detective Sandra Forsythe, “but your son has put you in a bad position.”
Loressa Little never took the stand at her son’s murder trial. The morning of his second trial date, she and her husband were killed execution-style in their home.
On Thursday, Baltimore Circuit Judge Julie Rubin sentenced Avery Little, now 23, to the maximum penalty of 50 years in prison following his conviction on counts of second-degree murder and a handgun charge in the killing of Derrill Crawley, 25.
Prosecutors played a recording of Loressa Little’s interview for the first time at the sentencing hearing. It was barred from trial by rules prohibiting testimony from witnesses who can’t be cross-examined.
No one has been charged in the killings of Loressa Little and Leroy Agnew, 60. Avery Little’s attorney, Angela Oetting, noted that prosecutors had not accused Little of being involved in their killings.
“He had absolutely no knowledge that was going to happen,” Oetting said. He learned of their deaths in jail, from other inmates from Park Heights, she said.
The string of events began Jan. 28, 2014, when police saw two groups of people in a confrontation.
The groups dispersed, but 15 minutes later police received a call for shots fired, said Assistant State’s Attorney Traci Robinson. As officers headed to the call, they saw Avery Little fleeing. After a chase, he was apprehended. They traced his steps in the snow and found a .38-caliber handgun, Robinson said.
A glass table had been smashed over Crawley’s head, and he was found with a stab wound and two gunshot wounds.
Loressa Little had been home at the time but didn’t initially tell police the full scope of what she saw. In the homicide interview room, Detectives Thomas Jackson and Forsythe implored her to “do the right thing.”
“I’m not saying you mis-raised your son. But you have to do the right thing by your younger son,” Forsythe said, referring to her then-6-year-old son. Little broke down crying.
In Rubin’s mostly empty courtroom Thursday, her wails from the recording hung in the room.
Avery Little, turning his neck to watch the television behind him, looked forward and dropped his head.
Loressa Little told detectives she had watched her son come into the house and retrieve a large butcher knife from a block above the kitchen sink. She tried to stop him from going back outside, and saw him plunge the knife into Crawley’s neck. Crawley begged for help, and Loressa Little said she heard a clicking sound. Avery was loading the gun, and shot Crawley twice.
“Once he shoots him, what does this guy do?” Jackson asked. “He’s dead,” Loressa Little said. Robinson said as the case progressed, Loressa Little made it clear she did not want to participate.
On Oct. 7, 2014, police believe Little was taken to a rear room of her home, ordered to her knees, and shot in the back of the head. Adams was shot multiple times in his bed. Their 6-year-old son was in the home at the time.
Avery Little was acquitted of first-degree murder in Crawley’s death and convicted on the other counts at a trial in June.
Crawley’s mother told the court in a letter that her son was a “mama’s boy,” and recalled passing out after receiving word of his death. “I also died that day,” she said. She has since moved out of state, and said she is undergoing counseling and can’t hold down a job. She said Crawley’s son told her at a recent soccer game, “I wish my father was here.”
Avery Little’s attorney said Crawley had been the aggressor and that Little went too far in defending himself.
A second shooting victim, a friend of Little’s, was found at the scene, and Oetting accused Crawley of committing the shooting
Rubin called the killing a “stunning display of relentless brutality” and said Little showed an “utter disregard for human life on that day.”