- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court says it will not set an execution date for death row inmate Charles Ray Crawford until it rules on Crawford’s pending appeal in a separate rape case.

That conviction was cited as an aggravating factor justifying the death sentence Crawford received in 1994 for the death of a junior college student.

The attorney general’s office had asked that Crawford’s execution be carried out March 28. That day came and went without a Supreme Court decision.

Mississippi Presiding Justice Jess Dickinson said in Monday’s 6-3 order that Crawford appealed the rape conviction in 1998 but the case was dormant until Crawford filed a corrected notice of appeal in January of this year. Dickinson said the court record provides no explanation for the delay.

“Because Crawford’s appeal of the rape conviction currently is pending, we deny the state’s motion to set Crawford’s execution,” Dickinson said.

Crawford, now 43, was sentenced to death in 1994 for the murder of Northeast Mississippi Community College student Kristy Ray in rural Tippah County.

In 1993, Crawford was out on bond awaiting trial on charges of aggravated assault and rape. Four days before his trial, the 20-year-old Ray was abducted from her parents’ home in Chalybeate. After his family and attorney notified police that they feared Crawford was committing another crime, Crawford was arrested. Crawford told authorities he did not remember the incident but later led them to the body buried in leaves in a wooded area.

Crawford later was tried and convicted on the original charges in the rape case and sentenced to 66 years in prison.

The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in 1998. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case that year.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide