Man suspected of fatally stabbing DC runner granted hearing postponement

WASHINGTON — With a D.C. police detective in the courtroom ready to testify about the last month’s murder of a woman fatally stabbed while running in D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood last month, lawyers for Anthony Crawford asked for – and were granted – a postponement in the probable cause hearing.

Family members of Wendy Martinez, who was fatally stabbed Sept. 18 while out for a run, had flown in from Florida for the preliminary hearing. Approximately a dozen family and friends of 23-year-old Crawford were also in the courtroom.

Crawford’s public defender, Eugene Ohm, told Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe that he had recently received new letters and statements, under seal, and needed time to research and investigate them.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie Earnest opposed the delay, saying Martinez’s family was present, and the defense had ample time to prepare for the preliminary hearing. Earnest said she would only be presenting evidence described in charging documents, as well as playing a telephone call between Crawford and a family member.

As the prosecution and defense conferred at the bench with the judge, Crawford alternated between a broad smile and smirk, nodding in the affirmative while sitting alone at the defense table.

In charging documents, one witness believed Crawford was talking to himself near 11th and P Streets NW, in the moments before Martinez was stabbed.

After reviewing the sealed material in chambers, Iscoe agreed to reschedule the preliminary hearing for Nov. 8.

Ohm asked Iscoe to release his client until that hearing, saying he was a young man with strong roots and family members in the District.

Earnest told the judge she “vigorously opposes the suggestion of release,” for Crawford, saying “he continues to be a danger to the community.”

Iscoe told family members on both sides: “Mr. Crawford is presumed to be innocent, but that in no way diminishes the loss of the victim’s family. There is no doubt someone died. Regardless of who is the perpetrator, there is a sense of loss.” He then ordered Crawford held until his next hearing.

Martinez’s family issued a statement after the continuance: “We trust that the U.S. justice system, and a jury of his peers, will ultimately deliver justice for Wendy and all of us.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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