AP NEWS

Trial opens for man accused of stabbing, running over woman

January 14, 2020 GMT

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Trial has begun for a Philadelphia man accused of having stabbed and run over his ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of her suburban workplace.

Lawrence Crawley, 34, is charged with first- and third-degree murder in death of 33-year-old Angela Stith.

Montgomery County prosecutors said Crawley smashed the window of her car at the Whitemarsh Township parking lot in August 2018, then caught her as she fled and stabbed her repeatedly. They say he then drove a sport utility vehicle over her repeatedly as co-workers rushed to try to help.

Crawley was arrested by state troopers in Somerset County several hours later after authorities allege he tried to kill himself by lighting himself on fire with gasoline. He spent days in intensive care after his arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Allison Ruth said in her opening statement Tuesday that Crawley had stalked Stith in the weeks before her death after she broke up with him in a text message. Ruth said the defendant was going to kill the victim “however he could ... because if he couldn’t have her, no one could.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that defense attorney Carrie Allman argued against the idea that her client intended to kill the victim. She said the couple’s tortured relationship pushed him to the brink and his actions were “completely out of control.”

Prosecutors say hours before the attack, Crawley had tried to buy a gun but was prevented from doing so after a background check indicated a restraining order had been filed against him in Florida. Crawley is also charged with making false statements when trying to purchase a firearm.