Crow­der sen­tenced to life

Sen­tence more than he pleaded to in ‘09

The Covington News - - Front Page - AM­BER PITTMAN Staff Re­porter

Dar­rell An­to­nio Crow­der was sen­tenced to life plus 35 years Fri­day for the mur­der of his es­tranged wife. The sen­tence is more then what he orig­i­nally pleaded to in 2009.

Crow­der, 52, was found guilty of mal­ice mur­der, bur­glary, cru­elty to chil­dren and pos­ses­sion of a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of a felony in the death of 43-year-old Cat­cilia Crow­der, on Jan. 16, 2008. She was found by her 16-year-old daugh­ter and her 13-year-old cousin, dead in her bath­tub.

Ac­cord­ing to the ev­i­dence, af­ter ex­chang­ing an­gry texts with his wife, Crow­der left his job at an At­lanta post of­fice dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter, drove to the New­ton County home he once shared with his wife and daugh­ter, then beat the door down. He en­tered the home and chased his wife through the home, fi­nally bust­ing into the bathroom where she was hid­ing and shoot­ing her.

Crow­der pleaded guilty to mal­ice mur­der and pos­ses­sion of a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of a felony in De­cem­ber 2009. In 2010 Crow­der pleaded in­ef­fec­tive as­sis­tance of coun­cil shortly af­ter his sen­tence was im­posed, say­ing his at­tor­ney had mis­in­formed him about his el­i­gi­bil­ity of pa­role and told him that he would

not have to serve a full 30 years be­fore pa­role el­i­gi­bil­ity. He said in court if had known that he would have in­sisted on a trial.

De­spite his tes­ti­mony, New­ton County Su­pe­rior Court Judge Eu­gene Ben­ton de­nied his re­quest to with­draw his guilty plea and go for­ward with a jury trial in the case.

Crow­der then filed an ap­peal with the Ge­or­gia Supreme Court and ear­lier this year they over­turned Ben­ton’s rul­ing and or­dered a trial set for Crow­der.

Un­der his ear­lier plead­ing, he was given life plus five years, he was sen­tenced to 30 years more in the jury trial.


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