Saturday, April 9, 2011
Crippen Gets 25 Years For Attempted Murder
Staff Writer- Daily Times
SNOW HILL -- Pleas of "No, judge!" and sobs erupted from the family of Alexander Crippen after he was sentenced to 25 years in prison stemming from his December conviction of first-degree attempted murder.
Several members of Crippen's family left the courtroom after Judge Richard R. Bloxom handed down a sentence of life in prison with all but 25 years suspended, and a 10-year concurrent sentence for handgun use during a felony or violent crime. Crippen is 37 years old.
Crippen was originally charged in the shooting death of Reginald Handy Jr. in June after witnesses said they saw him shoot and kill Handy. Those charges were vacated just before the trial began and replaced with attempted murder charges. Prosecutors said forensic evidence would have made it impossible to prove Crippen was the murderer.
A nephew of Crippen's, Skylor Harmon of Pocomoke City, was then charged with Handy's murder, and Harmon's trial is pending.
At the sentencing hearing, State's Attorney Beau Oglesby recalled Crippen's criminal past, saying an escalation in charges and convictions against him shows increasingly violent behavior. In 1991, Crippen was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; in 1996, he was convicted of assault with intent to maim and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
"These actions for an individual with no prior criminal history would be atrocious," Oglesby said. "Mr. Crippen was, and continues to be, a menace to our public safety."
Crippen's attorney, Arthur McGreevy, contested the state's request for a full life sentence, saying Crippen should be able to re-enter society at some point in his life.
"He is not a person devoid of potential," said McGreevy, after recalling stories of Crippen helping others and discussing Crippen's recently born son.
Before sentencing, Bloxom said Crippen's lengthy criminal history helped the judge determine the sentence. He also mentioned Crippen's conviction for assault of a corrections employee while he was behind bars.
"You have an adult criminal record going back 19 years," Bloxom said. "As the state's attorney observed, your criminal record is indicative of someone who has become more dangerous."
Although sentencing is often the last step in a criminal trial, Crippen is scheduled to appear at a motions hearing May 6, where he is expected to request a new trial. Crippen has also indicated his intent to appeal his conviction.
Source; delmarvanow.com http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201104090432/NEWS01/104090333