Derrick Elijah Crawford, 22, has pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court to second-degree murder in connection with a Jan. 6 late-evening shooting in the 17700 block of 76th Avenue West, adjacent to Southwest County Park near Perrinville.
Crawford entered his guilty plea last Friday, Feb. 24, taking full responsibility for the death of his victim, 27-year-old Joshua Werner of Edmonds. In a signed, written statement to the court, Crawford stipulated that “on 1/6/18 with intent to cause the death of Joshua Werner, I caused his death.”
According to papers filed with the court, the house where the murder took place has been the source of “multiple domestic disturbance and narcotic activity complaints,” is “known to be occupied by several people…on a transient basis,” and that on Jan. 6 Joshua Werner was one of these people.
In this incident, police were dispatched to the scene to investigate a reported gunshot. Inside they found Werner’s body in a third-floor bedroom, bleeding from an apparent gunshot wound. Crawford is suspected of shooting the victim, 27-year-old Joshua Werner, at a home in the 17700 block of 76th Avenue West around 11:25 p.m. on Jan. 6. Werner, who was shot in the head, was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was pronounced dead the next day. A subsequent autopsy revealed the cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the head. No other injuries were found.
The papers go on to say that police removed for interviews “several individuals” who were also residing at the house. All those interviewed identified Crawford as the shooter. In addition, one witness said that he “changed his appearance and was fleeing to California.” Other anonymous tips were received, also naming Crawford as the shooter. Based on this information, an arrest warrant was issued.
But he never made it out of the area.
On Jan. 17, units of the Edmonds Police Department and the Snohomish County Regional Task Force caught up with Crawford at a residence in the 6000 block of Broadway in Everett, where they found him hiding in a closet.
Crawford was booked into the Snohomish County Jail, where he was held in lieu of $500,000 bond.
Crawford faces between 14-22 years in prison, followed by three years community custody. Sentencing is scheduled for March 19.
— By Larry Vogel