Murder suspect caught in Somerset County; authorities say man set himself on fire
A Montgomery County murder suspect set himself on fire after being stopped by state police in Somerset County Friday morning. Lawrence Maurice Crawley was spotted traveling west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township when police attempted to stop him around 6:40 a.m. He set himself on fire as troopers approached the vehicle and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to the Montgomery County district attorney’s office. He was listed in critical condition at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown Friday afternoon. A hospital employee later said he was discharged.
Crawley, 33, North 13th Street, Philadelphia, was wanted in connection with the early morning murder of Angela Maya Stith, 33, of Philadelphia, who was killed outside Vector Security in Whitemarsh Township, where she worked.
Police were called to the scene around 2:27 a.m. Friday. Investigators found Stith’s body in the rear parking lot with drag injuries and stab wounds. A knife blade was later recovered from her back.
On security footage Stith is seen holding her cellphone walking toward her vehicle. A male chases her and attacks her in the parking lot. Several co-workers appear in the parking lot and attempt to render aid. A sport utility vehicle is seen driving over the area where Stith is lying three times while circling the parking lot.
Police discovered that the vehicle in the video, a blue Chevrolet Avalanche, was owned by Crawley and Mercedes McCall. Police called McCall, who said she talked to Crawley that morning. He reportedly told her: “I stabbed her and then I ran over her with the truck” and “I am going to kill myself.” She said Crawley told her that the voices in his head made him do it.
Crawley’s mother contacted police after her son called her on a cellphone. According to court documents, Crawley had previously dated Stith. He called his mother and said: “Mom, I’m sorry I killed her. I ran over her and I killed her. I’m sorry, Mom,” according to court documents.
In May Crawley was arrested in Montour County for strangling Stith. He pleaded guilty to simple assault on July 18.
The Berlin and Shanksville fire departments and Berlin and Somerset ambulance services assisted state police at the scene of Friday’s traffic stop. State police referred a reporter to the Montgomery County district attorney’s office for comment.
Charges were filed before District Judge Deborah Lukens in LaFayette Hill. Crawley has been charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder and possessing instruments of crime.