DC man who fatally stabbed runner sentenced to 30 years

Photos of Wendy Martinez, the 35-year-old who was killed while running, are on display during a vigil in Logan Circle in D.C. on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The D.C. man who fatally stabbed a woman, who was out for an evening run in her Logan Circle neighborhood last September, was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison.

In addition, Anthony Crawford, 24, will be required to serve five years of supervised release once he is released from prison, under the sentence from D.C. Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe.

Crawford pleaded guilty in June to first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 35-year-old Wendy Martinez, a random killing that sent shock waves through D. C.s running community. The plea agreement had called for a 30-year sentence.

Before he learned his sentence, Crawford heard emotional victim impact statements from members of Martinez’s family and her fiance, to whom she had become engaged shortly before her murder.

Crawford also gave a brief statement, apologizing to his family and to the Martinez family for what he called his “poor decision.”

In handing down the sentence, Iscoe said Crawford “crudely, viciously and savagely” ended Martinez’s life and did “incalculable harm.”

Police said Crawford attacked Wendy Martinez near the corner of 11th and P Streets Northwest shortly before 8 p.m. on Sept. 18, stabbing her seven times in the neck, head and back. Martinez stumbled into a nearby carryout and collapsed before she died.

Police and prosecutors described Martinez’s killing as a random attack and said Crawford used a knife he’d shoplifted from a nearby grocery store about a half-hour before the attack.

Crawford’s lawyers with the D.C. Public Defender Service had argued he had a history of mental illness and, at one point, were mulling a “not guilty by reason of insanity” defense. Witnesses described Crawford as acting erratically before the stabbing and, during court proceedings, he was observed mumbling to himself and swaying in his seat.

Crawford was temporarily deemed not competent to stand trial for about a month earlier this year.

However, a court-appointed psychologist, who examined Crawford said he is psychotic but had benefited from taking medication. Though Crawford sometimes “talks to himself,” the psychologist’s report concluded he “possesses the ability to make reasoned choices regarding his plea options and is able to consult with defense counsel in a rational manner.”

Dana Page, Crawford’s attorney, told the judge at Friday’s sentencing that Crawford is “sorry for what happened.” She added, “The monster is not Mr. Crawford; the monster is schizophrenia.”

As part of his sentence, the judge requested Crawford be placed in a federal prison where he could receive mental health treatment.

Martinez, a Georgetown University graduate who worked as an executive at a D.C. tech firm, was engaged to be married to Daniel Hincapie just a week before her killing.

“Wendy will forever be the love of my life,” Hincapie said in his victim impact statement.

Outside D.C. Superior Court, Hincapie and family members addressed the judge’s sentence.

“There’s no satisfaction, I think, in any sentence, just because it’s not going to bring her back,” he said. “I think there’s a sense of relief that at least there’s a sense of justice and that this person is going to be out of the streets for many, many decades.”

Cora Martinez, who publicly forgave her daughter’s accused killer at a vigil just a few days after the murder, repeated that message Friday.

“For us, it is important that he hears that we forgave him,” she said. “That we hope he finds peace in the middle of this storm that he created himself, for his life. And we know Wendy is in a better place, so that gives us a sense of … relief.

Late last year, Martinez’s former employer, FiscalNote, and the Greater Washington Community Foundation announced the creation of the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project to help advance the cause of women in the technology sector and to work at making D.C. safer for runners, especially women.

Starting Sept. 14, the group is hosting a virtual 5K event in Martinez’s honor using the hashtag #RunforWendy. On Sept. 21, the group will participate in the Pacers Clarendon Day Run.

In April, Hincapie ran the Boston Marathon in Martinez’s honor, raising $13,000 for the organization “Girls on the Run.”

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report from D.C. Superior Court in the District. 

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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