Saturday, April 9, 2011
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
Friday, February 11, 2011
The 36-year-old Crippen was found guilty in Worcester County Circuit Court in December of first-degree attempted murder. He is biding time until a Feb. 28 court hearing, hoping Judge Richard R. Bloxom will grant his request for a new trial instead of imposing a sentence.
If he is not granted the new trial -- a life sentence is a possibility instead -- he has already begun to plan his next move, Crippen said in an interview at the Worcester County Jail, where he is being held.
He has looked into hiring a lawyer who specializes in criminal appeals, declining to comment on what specific parts of the trial he plans to contest, saying he will leave that decision to his lawyer.
"The whole investigation was about homicide... every paper states homicide. Every witness says they saw me shoot Reginald Handy," said Crippen, who maintained his innocence during the interview. "At the beginning, no one said anything about attempted murder."
Crippen was first charged in the death of Reginald Handy Jr. in June, after witnesses swore they saw him shoot and kill Handy. Those charges were vacated just before trial began, and replaced with attempted murder charges. Prosecutors said forensic evidence would have made it impossible to prove Crippen was the murderer.
The attempted murder case against Crippen relied in part on testimony from Torrance Davis, a cousin of Handy's. Davis stated he saw Crippen shoot Handy, and then try to shoot him.
Crippen recalled that during the trial, Davis invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination when asked about a prior shooting in Virginia, referred to as a "ranch party" in court questioning by Crippen's attorney, Arthur McGreevy.
During the two-day trial, numerous police officers and community members took the stand to testify against Crippen. But a handgun Crippen was supposed to have fired, nor the one reportedly on Handy at the time he was killed, were never recovered, Crippen said.
Police searched the Pocomoke River but were unable to locate the two handguns. Police did recover an assault rifle yards away from where Handy was shot and determined it was the murder weapon.
At the time of Crippen's arrest, Pocomoke police chief J.D. Ervin said Crippen and Handy "had a history with each other; they didn't get along." Crippen disputed that, saying he knew Handy by name but wasn't feuding with him.
Murder charges were later filed against Skylor Harmon, 18, of Cedar Street in Pocomoke, accusing him of being Handy's killer. Harmon is Crippen's nephew, Crippen said and Harmon's trial is scheduled to begin March 14.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Testimony in the trial for first- and second-degree attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault and gun charges concluded Dec. 7. Bloxom said he needed time to review the testimony and facts of the case before giving a verdict, which he issued Friday.
During his deliberations, he recalled the instructions given to jurors when they have trouble deciphering witness testimony: that they may believe all, part or none of what witnesses say.
Crippen, who has listed residences in Fort Washington, Md., and Pocomoke City, has been held without bond at the Worcester County Jail since late May, when he was charged in the murder of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr., 22. Handy was gunned down outside a Laurel Avenue home on May 27.
In June, a grand jury indicted Crippen on murder and other related charges connected to Handy's death in addition to attempted murder. But Bloxom dismissed the murder charge against Crippen during a criminal motions hearing. Prosecutors said forensic evidence would have made it impossible to prove Crippen killed Handy. Crippen was instead convicted of attempting to kill another man, Torrance Davis, 28, who was at the scene of the shooting in May.
After the verdict was read, Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow asked the judge to order a presentence investigation before Crippen is sentenced.
"Now that he has been found guilty on all counts, we will be seeking the maximum penalty," Farlow said. The maximum penalty life in prison. He said a second charge, wearing and carrying an illegal weapon, can carry an additional sentence of up to 20 years.
Crippen's defense attorney, Arthur McGreevy, said he expects his client to appeal the decision.
"We are obviously disappointed but respect the judge's decision," McGreevy said.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
After a day and a half of testimony, Alexander Crippen, who is alleged to have fired shots at 28-year-old Torrance Davis, will have to wait three days before the court will rule on the case.
Circuit Court Judge Richard R. Bloxom said the bench trial will resume at 1 p.m. Friday.
Crippen, who is listed as a resident of Fort Washington, Md., and Pocomoke City, has been held without bond at the Worcester County Jail since late May when he was charged in the murder of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr., a 22-year-old Greenbush resident.
Handy was gunned down outside a Laurel Avenue home May 27.
In June, a grand jury indicted Crippen on murder and other related charges connected to Handy's death in addition to attempted murder charges.
Bloxom dismissed the murder and assault charges filed against Crippen during a criminal motions hearing Dec. 1. The prosecutor and Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow said forensic evidence would have made it impossible to prove Crippen killed Handy.
During the trial Tuesday, two Pocomoke City women testified they saw Crippen in the area where the victim was killed before the shots were fired.
"When I first heard gunshots, I took off," 20-year-old Rashima Schoolfield said.
When she looked behind her, Crippen was 5-10 feet behind her, she said.
Shanna Harmon, 31, testified that she saw Crippen running toward Fifth Street after the shots were fired.
However, neither witness identified Crippen as the gunman.
The victim's cousin and witness for the state identified Crippen as the shooter during a recorded interview with investigators May 27; however, private defense attorney Arthur E. McGreevy of Baltimore pointed to inconsistencies in Davis' statements compared to evidence in the case and trial testimony from other witnesses.
"There really isn't a whole lot of physical evidence that links my client to this case," McGreevy said.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Crippen is charged with the first- and second-degree attempted murder of Davis, along with first- and second-degree assault charges and other related offenses.
Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow and Crippen's attorney, Arthur McGreevy, presented opening statements before Judge Richard R. Bloxom before the state began to call its witnesses.
Davis testified that on the night of the shooting he heard a "boom, then pop, pop, pop, pop."
Police found a Bushmaster assault rifle, AR-15, at 503 Laurel St., about one block away from where the shooting took place.
Davis also testified that he had been at the scene of the shooting for about 10 minutes when, he said, Crippen "just started shooting."
"I think he emptied his clip ... maybe six or seven shots," said Davis. "I seen the fire come out of the gun."
An officer from the Pocomoke City Police Department, who was one of the first officers on the scene, testified that when she asked Davis to tell her who shot Handy, he was unable to.
"As I was tending to the victim, I said, 'If you know who did this,' you need to tell me," the officer testified, indicating she lowered her voice so people standing in the crowd could not hear her. "He just kept saying 'R.J., breathe' ... he didn't answer me or say anything in response to the question."
Crippen was previously charged with the shooting death of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr., Davis's cousin, who was found dead at the scene the night of the events now being discussed at trial. But the charge of murder was dismissed at a pretrial motions hearing last week, leaving the lesser attempted murder and assault charges, which are still felonies.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow did not object to the dismissal of first-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault charges against Crippen.
"The forensic evidence would have made it impossible to prove Mr. Crippen is the person who killed Reginald Handy," Farlow said, noting Crippen is still charged with the first- and second-degree attempted murder of Torrance Davis, Crippen's cousin, along with separate first- and second-degree assault charges and other related offenses.
Arthur McGreevy, Crippen's lawyer, said it felt good to get the murder charge against his client dropped. He is focusing on the trial scheduled to begin Monday."At the trial, I believe my client will be exonerated of all the charges," said McGreevy. "He was not any of the people firing weapons on that day."
The shooting death of Handy occurred on May 26 at about 10 p.m. in Pocomoke City, when he was shot once in the back before being transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was pronounced dead, according to police and court records.
Upon searching the area where Handy was shot, McGreevy says police found six .45-caliber shell casings, six other shell casings and a .223 rifle cartridge.
The deputy state's attorney and defense council put several additional motions in front of Judge Richard R. Bloxom, including allowing audiovisual equipment in the court during the trial, redacting objectionable statements in Crippen's interview transcripts and correcting a typographical error in court documents.
In a July interview, Davis said he and his cousin didn't know Crippen personally before the night Handy died, and disputed police accounts that had Crippen arguing with Handy beforehand.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
A Worcester County grand jury has indicted Alexander Crippen on 10 criminal counts, including the murder of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr., and the attempted murder of Torrance Davis.
The day after the May 27 shooting, police found Crippen, 36, in a room at the Travelers Motel in Delmar, Md. He was arrested and charged with Handy's death, but neither court documents nor statements from law enforcement officials at the time indicated that there was another victim.
According to the indictment Crippen "did feloniously, willfully and of deliberate premeditated malice aforethought attempt to kill and murder Torrance Davis."
What's more, the indictment goes on to say, Crippen "shot at him with a gun, that created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury."
In court records for minor criminal charges, Davis, 27, lists both a Horntown, Va., P.O. box and a Pocomoke City address.
Crippen has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, concealing and transporting a handgun, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Bond has been set at $1 million and a jury will determine his guilt or innocence during a two-day trial in September.
According to documents filed in Worcester County District Court, a verbal altercation broke out late in the evening of May 27 between Crippen and Handy. Witnesses told police that Crippen approached an individual sitting on the steps of a house in the 500 block of Laurel Avenue in Pocomoke when Handy came up to him and the two began to argue. Crippen then pulled out a handgun, fired several shots aimed at the victim. and fled the scene. A bullet hit Handy in the back and the 22-year-old Greenbush man was pronounced dead before paramedics could get him to the hospital.
Police later said that the attack was targeted and that Crippen and Handy had a history of not getting long. Davis's relationship to Crippen is not explained in the indictment.
According to Maryland court records, Davis has a history of minor brushes with the law. A 2002 second-degree assault conviction came with a $100 fine, and a similar arrest two years later cost him 90 days in jail. Davis also spent a month incarcerated for making a false statement to an officer in 2004 and another 10 days in 2006 for disorderly conduct. He is currently on probation for failing to pay child support.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Crippen was subsequently located and charged with 1st Degree Murder in the death of Reginald Handy, however the location of the firearms involved in this crime have not been located.
A reward of up to $1,000.00 is being offered for anyone who can provide information that leads to the successful recovery of the firearms in this case. Contact Crime Solvers or your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thirty-six-year-old Alexander Crippen is sitting behind bars in connection to the alleged homicide of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr.
"Crippen was charged with First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, Manslaughter, Use of a Handgun in the Commission of a Crime of Violence and Possession of a Handgun," said Joel Todd, the State's Attorney for Worcester County.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, Todd says Crippen allegedly approached Handy.
"Words were exchanged between Handy and Crippen," said Todd. "Crippen fired a handgun several times at Handy."
Police say the men knew each other, but they aren't sure how.
With the help of eyewitnesses they were able to make an arrest.
"When we spoke with them they were actually able to identify who the shooter was and that's how we were able to identify who Mr. Crippen was and begin actively searching for him," said Detective Corporal Mike Lupiwok, with the Worcester County Sheriff's Office.
Police located and apprehended Crippen around 11:00 Thursday night at the Traveler's Motel in Delmar.
Police also say he was staying there under a different name.
Pocomoke police are encouraging people in the area to attend an open discussion concerning the recent happenings on Saturday, June 12th at 10:00 a.m. at the New Macedonia Baptist Church.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thirty-six-year-old Alexander Crippen was taken into custody Thursday evening at a hotel in Delmar. He was charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a handgun in the commission of a felony. He is being held at the Worcester County Jail. Bail has not yet been set.
Pocomoke City police say that at around 10 p.m. Wednesday, they received calls for shots fired in the area of Laurel and Fifth streets. Upon arrival, officers found Reginald Jerome Handy Jr., of Greenbush, Va., suffering from a gunshot wound.
Handy was transported by ambulance to Peninsula Regional Medical Center. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to investigators, the suspect and victim knew each other. Authorities say Crippen shot Handy during a dispute over cigarettes. Witnesses helped police identify Crippen as the suspect.