Man accused of repeatedly stabbing women is sentenced in New York

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 16, 2014 6:28 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 61-year-old man with a long history of attacking women was sentenced in suburban New York on Tuesday to 25 years to life in prison for the stabbing death of his girlfriend.

Judge Barbara Zambelli told Lucius Crawford that he "has had a lifetime of committing crimes against women" and handed down the maximum sentence.

"My job, my duty, my responsibility here, it seems to me, is to keep him in prison for the rest of his natural life so that he can never harm another woman," she said at Crawford's sentencing in Westchester County Court in White Plains, New York.

Crawford was convicted in May of the stabbing death of his girlfriend Tonya Simmons in his apartment in Mount Vernon, New York.

"What he did in this case, I'll never forget his words, 'Kill one, kill 'em all,'" the judge said, referring to a quote attributed to Crawford by authorities. "That resonates with me, that drives this decision."

Simmons' body was discovered by police who had gone to the apartment to question Crawford about two murders from 1993.

The jury that convicted Crawford of the Simmons murder said it could not reach a verdict in one of those 1993 crimes, the killing of Laronda Shealy in Yonkers, New York.

Crawford is also awaiting trial in New York City for the 1993 murder of another woman.

He served 17 years in prison in South Carolina for two stabbing sprees in which he targeted girls at random, according to media reports.

In 1994 he pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a former co-worker who had rejected his overtures. He was paroled in 2008.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Eric Walsh)