23-year-old DC man found competent to stand trial in fatal stabbing of runner

Following a full mental evaluation and a nearly monthlong delay in court proceedings, the man charged with fatally stabbing a D.C. woman last September as she was running in D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood has been found competent to stand trial.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe ruled Friday that 23-year-old Anthony Crawford can now stand trial in the killing of Wendy Martinez.

The ruling followed a report to the judge from psychologist Teresa Grant, who evaluated Crawford. Grant’s report said Crawford is psychotic but has fully benefited from two medications prescribed to him. The report found there’s no evidence of hallucinations and that Crawford understands what he’s charged with, and wants to talk with his lawyer about entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Crawford’s public defender Eugene Ohm, who has not said whether that plea is being considered, did not object to the psychologists’ findings.

The full competency evaluation was ordered after a mental health screening last month determined Crawford was not competent at that time.

Following the psychologist’s report Friday, prosecutors said they intend to indict Crawford by June 19. The judge ruled last year that Crawford will face a second-degree murder charge.

Police say Crawford attacked Wendy Martinez as she was running in D.C.’s Logan Circle neighborhood Sept. 18 and stabbed her seven times, including in the neck and the head. The 35-year-old avid runner stumbled into a nearby carryout and collapsed before she died.

Crawford’s attorneys have previously argued he has mental health issues and should be placed in a psychiatric hospital.

Unlike previous hearings late last year during which he mumbled to himself and swayed his head, Crawford sat quietly during the short hearing Friday.

The psychologist’s report was based on a review of medical records and a 40-minute interview with Crawford a few days before the hearing. Her report said Crawford was “alert, polite and engaged, and in no acute distress,” during the interview.

Crawford conveyed to the psychologist that he sometimes “talks to himself” but he denied it was the result of auditory hallucinations.

The psychologist said Crawford was also able to discuss various aspects of his case and that he “possesses the ability to make reasoned choices regarding his plea options and is able to consult with defense counsel in a rational manner. ”

Her report concluded: “There was nothing to suggest the defendant would be (unable) to modulate his behavior in the courtroom.”

Police have said they believe Martinez’s stabbing was a random attack.

The Georgetown University graduate was engaged to be married just a week before she was stabbed to death.

Late last year, her former employer, FiscalNote, and the Greater Washington Community Foundation announced the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project to advance women in the technology sector.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report from D.C. Superior Court. 

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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