May 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Convicted killed joined Army to avoid charges

CINCINNATI – A man who joined the Army to avoid murder charges but was arrested by police while home for Christmas from basic training has been sentenced to life in prison.

Hamilton County Common Please Judge Robert Winkler on Friday sentenced David Crawford, 23, of suburban Norwood, to life in prison for the 2004 murder of William Wilson, 22.

Crawford thought he could manipulate the court system and escape all charges, said Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor David Prem.

“He is a cold-hearted and callous person who thought he could manipulate the system and walk out the door,” Prem said. “He never intended to take responsibility and still hasn`t.”

According to prosecutors, Crawford twice shot Wilson in the head in September 2004, believing he had double-crossed him during a drug deal.

Police found Wilson`s body dumped in northeast Cincinnati. Investigation in the following months led detectives to make Crawford a suspect.

Meanwhile, Crawford joined the Army and attended basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., Prem said.

When Crawford returned to a relative`s Anderson Township home for Christmas dinner, detectives arrested him on murder charges.

Crawford withdrew a plea to lesser manslaughter charges that could have brought a 17-year prison sentence.