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Crawford Murder Conviction Overturned

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

December 26, 2008

UPDATE:

The Manassas man accused of killing his estranged wife and dumping her body in a Charlottesville hotel room may have another chance at a re-trial.

Anthony Dale Crawford was convicted of killing 33-year-old Sarah Louise Crawford in 2004.

Now a new trial has been ordered on a murder charge no greater than first-degree murder, and on use of a firearm in the commission of murder.

According to Crawford’s appeal attorney Steven Rosenfield, a three judge panel agreed to reverse most of Crawford’s convictions.

“The judges agreed on almost everything except for one of the judges had a small descent over a particular phase of the opinion, but it doesn't really change the impact that three judges believed this case needed to be reversed,” said Steven Rosenfield, Crawford’s Appeal Attorney.

Rosenfield believes a key piece of evidence that was submitted should have been excluded.

“It was one piece of evidence which was overwhelming and significant and that was an affidavit that the decedent submitted to a court in Northern Virginia, said Rosenfield.

During the trial the appeals court says Crawford’s right to confront his accuser was violated and without that evidence Rosenfield says the outcome will likely be different at re-trial.

“He still has a significant burden… hurdle in front of him, but he's in a much better position now than he was before,” said Rosenfield.

CBS19 tried contacting Charlottesville's Commonwealth's Attorney Office, but no one was available for comment.

Rosenfield says it's unusual for the court of appeals to accept or reverse many criminal cases.
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(AP) - The Virginia Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a Manassas man accused of killing his estranged wife.

In a decision released Tuesday, the court overturned 49-year-old Anthony Dale Crawford's conviction on capital murder and several other charges.

A retrial was ordered on a murder charge no greater than first-degree murder, and on use of a firearm in the commission of murder.

However, Crawford's grand larceny conviction wasn't reversed.

Crawford was convicted in Charlottesville Circuit Court in 2007 of killing 33-year-old Sarah Louise Crawford in 2004.

The appeals court says Crawford's right to confront his accuser was violated. The lower court allowed an affidavit into evidence that was created as part of Sarah Crawford's request for a protective order.


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