ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Anchorage man, acting as his own attorney during his murder trial, gave up a two year legal battle Tuesday when he caused a scene and stomped out of the courtroom just minutes before hearing his fate.
He always wanted to be an attorney, but as far as his family could tell Keane Crawford didn't respond well to authority.
Crawford never made it to law school, but he still took the chance to defend himself. For months Crawford plotted and executed his defense. He claimed he knew the case better than anyone else.
Crawford was no stranger to running improbable campaigns; he did it back in 2008 when he worked on Ron Paul's presidential campaign in Alaska.
Crawford admitted to fatally shooting his sister's boyfriend, Anthony Brown, but he says he did it because he felt threatened.
Crawford's sister, Kerri Nichols, said her brother was acting paranoid and accused her friends of using mind-control.
“There was no need to attack me. And I expressed my desire to get my kids and get out of his house, but he struck me in the face and choked me unconscious,” said Crawford about the murder.
According to Crawford, when he came to he was disoriented and lost control. He says he tried to leave, but thought Brown was coming after him, so he fired.
“This whole notion that he blacked out is simply fabricated,” said prosecuting attorney John Skidmore.
Skidmore points out Crawford knew what was going on when he showed the forethought to record his family in the car after the shooting and when he directed his children on what to tell the police if questioned about the murder.
“He likes to create chaos. He likes to try to make things difficult for other people. That's what he thrives on,” said Skidmore.
At a previous sentencing hearing, Crawford's mother testified against her own son, asking the judge to keep him behind bars as long as possible.
The victim's girlfriend, sister and nephew told the judge they wanted Anthony Brown to be remembered not as a case number, but as a wonderful father.
“He was the only person I ever loved now he's gone, for nothing, for a temper tantrum,” said Nichols.
During sentencing the judge told Crawford he had twisted logic and a bad habit of portraying himself as a victim.
Crawford stormed out of the courtroom before the judge had a chance to hand down the sentence.
With the murder two, other assault and possession conviction, Crawford was sentenced to 104 years with 30 years suspended.
The judge said Crawford will inevitably appeal.
Contact Ashton Goodell at firstname.lastname@example.org