PHILADELPHIA – A man stabbed and then repeatedly drove over his estranged friend, crushing her in a fatal attack as its suburbs of Philadelphia co-workers tried to help her early Friday morning, authorities said.
The attack was captured on surveillance cameras.
District Attorney Kevin Steele choked up as he described the man riding on the woman “again and again and again” in a security company car park. He said that the suspect, Lawrence Crawley, who set himself on fire after being pulled over by a Pennsylvania State Trooper a few hours later on the other side of the state. Crawley, 33, was hospitalized in critical condition.
Steele said various colleagues were witness of the attack on Angela Stith, 33, and tried to help her.
“This was a terrible death. And I know and I feel for the victim and what she went through, her family and what they went through, the people that were witness to this and the people who are going to witness this movement,” Steele said.
Authorities said Stith, who worked at Vector Security, was seen on camera leaving her office, about 2:15 and on her way to her car, while texting someone. Steele said she had been told and had a text message from the suspect briefly.
Stith got in her car, and the suspect is seen in the images smashing her driver’s side window in an attempt to attack her. They fled from the passenger side of her car and walked a short distance before the defendant caught her, beat her and stabbed her repeatedly.
Co-workers came outside to try to help Stith, call 911. Steele said that they can be heard, answering their questions
Meanwhile, Steele said Crawley got into his Chevy Suburban and drove about Stith, circling the parking lot and driving over her twice when her colleague looked helpless to stop him.
Steele said Crawley turned the three-ton vehicle, “weapon” on the flight.
The arrest affidavit said that there is a relationship history between Stith and Crawley. The affidavit said Crawley pled guilty to simple assault after an incident in which he choked Stith.
A medical examiner said Stith died on Friday from a combination of sharp force trauma and blunt trauma. Officials said that Crawley stuck her so hard that a knife was still wedged in her back, when the autopsy was performed.
As he fled, Crawley called out to his mother and another woman to tell them that he had killed the Stith, and that he was sorry. Steele said when the soldier was able to finally pull Crawley, he lit himself on fire in the cabin of his car.
The trooper was able to save him and he was taken to the hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition as of Friday afternoon.
Steele said he planned to charge Crawley with first-degree murder and other charges and would ask you to deny bail.
It was unclear from the records whether Crawley had a lawyer. A call to a number listed for him went unanswered Friday.
Whitemarsh police chief Christopher Ward said that his staff begged him not to watch the video, because they knew that he would speak with reporters Friday. He said that there is no evidence of a murder in the township of 17,000 people in 17 years.