Local News

Judge Rules Out Death Penalty in Woman's Murder Trial

Posted June 5, 2007

— Durham prosecutors failed Tuesday to persuade a judge that they should be able to ask a jury to make the defendant in a Durham murder trial the fifth woman on North Carolina’s Death Row.

Christy Crittenton, prosecutors charge, is a cold and calculated gold digger who helped three others kill 71-year-old Edwin Knowles last July. Knowles was found pistol-whipped and shot to death in his Bahama home.

“I would argue circumstance show she knew what was going on and what was going to happen,” Assistant District Attorney David Saacks told Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.

Not so, defense attorney Jay Ferguson told Hudson.

“She wasn't even in the house when the shooting occurred,” Ferguson said.

Both sides agreed Knowles was Crittenton’s sugar daddy. Ferguson said she visited him only to borrow money, while Saacks said her visit was about robbery and turned into murder.

Even though Crittenton didn't fire the shot that struck Knowles, she led the trigger man to his home, the prosecutor told Hudson.

Saacks argued that Crittenton's criminal background should be considered, including her 1993 conviction for killing a former Durham police officer. In the end, however, Hudson ruled that there was not enough evidence to support the death penalty in the case.

If convicted, Crittenton will face an automatic life sentence instead.

Prosecutors indicated they still plan to seek the death penalty against the shooter in Knowles’ death.

The last time prosecutors sought the death penalty against a woman was when Barbara Stager was convicted in 1989 of first-degree murder for a 1988 killing and sentenced to die. She received a new trial, however, and was given a life sentence instead in 1993.


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  • kocomfort Jun 6, 2007

    This woman KNEW they were all at the home for less than just a visit.....she is a MURDERER and she will do it again when she gets out of jail AGAIN. She and her cohorts all deserve to die in the manner that they ended Ed Knowles' life. We are coming up on a year since he passed...he was a very nice man....all he ever wanted to do was "make someone happy today". That was his motto that still echos in my head today. Christy Crittenton deserves the death penalty!

  • strolling bones Jun 6, 2007

    Rev. thank you for the correction you are right of course the big ten are in the old testament. I am simply pointing out the blood thirsty and their hypocrisy. We condemn cultures that kill yet we support state killing. We find it barbaric that a culture would behead someone yet see no wrong in hanging or electric chair or the lethal injections.

  • Aquamarine Jun 6, 2007

    I knew the police officer she killed, and I know his family. She should NOT have been given such a short sentence for that crime. As a matter of face, if she had been sentenced for the murder as she should have been, she would still be in prison, and THIS murder would never had taken place. This kind of person (if you can call her that), should never have been given the opportunity to do the same thing again. The jury should definitely be allowed to hear about the first murder she was convicted of.

  • 68_polara Jun 6, 2007

    I live in Durham and I've been a Juror in Orlando Hudson's court room. If you are a victim of a violent crime in Durham you or your family will not see Justice. Because of his sentences murders are back out on the streets in just a few years. These violent felons often comment murder again and again.

  • moglinferno Jun 6, 2007

    She murders a POLICE OFFICER and she's not still in prison? Put the executioners to work.....

  • spiritwarriorwoman1 Jun 6, 2007

    strolling bones - "Did not the new testament with the grace of Jesus say...what you do unto the least of my breathen you do to me...thou shall not kill etc."

    Well, yes...but those who do not treat others as Christ would treat them either 1)-are not Christians; 2)-are not true Christians; or 3)-have lost their fellowship with God through Christ, so the laws of neither testament apply to them.

    And btw - The New Testament has no commandment about killing. That's in The Old Testament. BUT in Matthew 22:39, we are encouraged to love one another as we love ourselves.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • defabz Jun 6, 2007

    She was convicted in 1993 for killing a former police officer? It does not say this conviction was overturned. How was she out of prison less than 14 years later if she was convicted of murder?

  • strolling bones Jun 6, 2007

    my my my and are these the people who object to islams hanging, beheading and stoning.....The death penalty is not used fairly in this country and all executions should be suspended until it is. Stats show 1 of 8 on death row to be innocent.

    I am sure if asked, those crying for blood would also claim to be Christains. The old testaments does say an eye for an eye but that was under the law of God. Did not the new testament with the grace of Jesus say...what you do unto the least of my breathen you do to me...thou shall not kill etc.

  • computer trainer Jun 6, 2007

    While,the research shows that capital punishment is no more effective in deterring homicide than is life in prison. It STOPS that killer from killing again. Many of them kill in Prison and then we have to have another trial. Let's just get it over with. She is scum!

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Jun 6, 2007

    This is rediculous, If this woman was a part of this terrible crime, she should be hanged publicly! The time has come to get serious about punishing crime!