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Inmate Freed Early Due To Covid Is Charged With Murder Two Days Later

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Inmate Freed Early Due To Covid Is Charged With Murder Two Days Later

A man has been charged with a murder that allegedly took place two days after he was released from prison in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Jerry Crawford, 25, was behind bars for burglary before being released on 4 November 2020 on 'public health emergency credits' to mandatory parole supervision.

Just two days later, on 6 November, Bridgeton Police responded to a report of shots fired and found the body of 18-year-old Davion Scarbrough near a dirt path.

Jerry Crawford was arrested alongside Yusuf Waites (pictured). Credit: Cumberland County Jail
Jerry Crawford was arrested alongside Yusuf Waites (pictured). Credit: Cumberland County Jail
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Davion Scarbrough died from gunshot wounds on 6 November 2020. Credit: Gun Memorial
Davion Scarbrough died from gunshot wounds on 6 November 2020. Credit: Gun Memorial

Cops ended up getting CCTV from a nearby complex which showed the victim with two other men - Jerry Crawford, 25, and Yusuf Waites, 23.

The pair have now been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and are being held in Cumberland County Jail.

According to the NY Post, Yusuf Waites had also just been released from custody less than a month before the shooting.

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He had been at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility until 10 October after completing a sentence on a gun charge.

After seeing court documents, NJ.com reported that Mr Scarbrough was shot multiple times less than half a mile from the prison where Crawford had been released.

Jerry Crawford. Credit: Cumberland County Jail
Jerry Crawford. Credit: Cumberland County Jail

When Crawford was charged last month for the murder, he was already back in custody on gun and theft charges which have since been dismissed.

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In similar circumstances, Joseph Edward Williams, 26, was charged with second-degree murder hours after being released pending his trial.

He was initially booked into Orient Road Jail in Hillsborough County, Florida, on 13 March 2020 for possession of heroin (less than four grams), a third-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia - a first-degree misdemeanour.

Williams was released early on 19 March last year, one of more than 100 inmates awaiting trial who were released from custody early.

This was implemented in an effort to lower the risk of the spread of Covid-19 within the Hillsborough County detention facilities and to protect the inmates, deputies and civilian staff working within the jails.

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According to CNN, the day after he was released police were called to investigate reports of gunshots in a Tampa neighbourhood, where they found a man who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff Chad Chronister commented on the arrest saying: "There is no question Joseph Williams took advantage of this health emergency to commit crimes while he was out of jail awaiting resolution of a low-level, non-violent offence.

"As a result, I call on the State Attorney to prosecute this defendant to the fullest extent of the law.

"Every murder, every violent crime, especially those involving a gun, is a sickening example of the worst in our community, especially at a time when our community is working relentlessly to fight against the spread of this deadly Covid-19."

Featured Image Credit: Cumberland County Jail

Topics: Police, News, US News, crime, Murder

Rebecca Shepherd
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