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Suspect in runner’s fatal stabbing denied bond, will face murder charge

In this image provided by the Martinez family, a photo of Wendy Karina Martinez. Police say Martinez, an avid runner who was killed in a residential neighborhood in the nation's capital after recently getting engaged, was likely a random target. Police say on Sept. 20, that a suspect has been arrested in the Tuesday stabbing death of Martinez near Logan Circle in Washington. (Martinez family via AP)

WASHINGTON — The man charged with September’s fatal stabbing of a Northwest D.C. woman in Logan Circle will remain held without bond.

In a preliminary hearing Friday, D.C. Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe also ruled that Anthony Crawford will face a charge of second-degree murder while armed in the death of Wendy Martinez.

The 35-year-old was killed Sept. 18 during an evening run near the intersection of 11th and P streets. She was stabbed seven times, including in the neck and head, then stumbled into a nearby restaurant and collapsed shortly before her death.

“[Crawford] preyed on Wendy Martinez,” prosecutor Katie Earnest said.

The suspect has yet to enter a plea or be indicted.

During the hearing Friday, defense attorneys argued that a more-appropriate charge would be involuntary manslaughter, citing mental health issues. They also contended that he should be placed in a psychiatric hospital. A relative told police that Crawford has schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and had not been taking his medication.

Crawford’s attorneys also argued that he had a psychotic break and no recent episodes of aggression. (Their client mumbled and swayed his head throughout Friday’s proceedings.)

Prosecutors, however, allege that Crawford, 23, wasn’t suffering from mental illness because “he had the wherewithal to lie about where he was that day,” Earnest said.

In addition, they said, Crawford had tested positive for cocaine.

In earlier testimony Thursday, prosecution witnesses said Crawford could be seen in a nearby supermarket in a surveillance video about 20 minutes before the fatal attack. He was in an aisle examining an area where knives similar to the suspected murder weapon were sold, Det. Charles Fultz had testified. Prosecutors believe Crawford shoplifted the knife.

That, prosecutors argued, demonstrated malice, and that Crawford knew what he was doing.

Both Crawford’s and Martinez’s DNA were found on the knife.

Investigators said Crawford was a frequent user of the narcotic K-2, which can cause “hallucinations, delusions, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, and violent behavior,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After waiving his Miranda rights, D.C. police said, Crawford mentioned being accused of stabbing a “little girl,” even though detectives had not mentioned the circumstances of the homicide for which he was under arrest.

Martinez stood 5 feet 1 inch and weighed 105 pounds, police said.

In his ruling, Iscoe said the knife and a bloodied yellow sweater linked to Crawford “certainly established a strong link beyond probable cause.” The judge also cited the surveillance video and DNA match in his ruling.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.


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