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Bond Set for Suspect in NCCU Student's Slaying

Posted May 9, 2007

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— Bond has been established for a woman accused in the slaying of a North Carolina Central University student.

The judge set Shannon Crawley's bond at $175,000 Wednesday. Police believe Crawley killed Denita Smith on Jan. 4. Authorities said Crawley shot the 25-year-old in the back of her head outside Smith's apartment in Durham. A maintenance worker found Smith's body at the bottom of a stairwell.

In court Wednesday, prosecutor David Saacks said Crawley, a former Guilford County 911 dispatcher, planned the killing. He told the court that Crawley showed up to work late on the day of Smith's shooting and had time to commit the crime.

Police have not said anything about a possible motive for the shooting. Court documents state Crawley lived blocks from Smith's fiancé, Jermeir Stroud, who is a Greensboro police officer. He has told investigators that Crawley was stalking him.

Duane Bryant, Crawley's attorney, said his client plans to plead not guilty. He said any suggestion of a jealous love triangle is off-base and that there are questions over whether Stroud was actually Smith's fiancé. He also said Crawley does not have a prior history of mental problems.

Police said a woman matching Crawley's description drove away from the apartment complex in a burgundy Ford Explorer. Investigators searched Crawley's house and a burgundy Ford Explorer belonging to her days before her arrest.

The warrant shows they seized a Guilford Metro 911 uniform, a Sprint phone bill, a computer, photographs, e-mail printouts, two gunshot residue kits and a floppy disk. Crawley was arrested in Greensboro on Jan. 9.

Prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty in the case.

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