A man accused of killing his estranged girlfriend in her Manchester Township home last week had previously been arrested for allegedly setting fire to her basement, holding her against her will and destroying her personal documents.
Ross William Crawford, 40, of 570 Harvest Drive, is charged with homicide in the death of his estranged girlfriend, Cherylann Jennifer Dowell, 52, of the 500 block of Cedar Village Drive.
Mark Bentzel, chief of Northern York County Regional Police, confirmed Sunday Dowell was the woman involved in a series of 2010 incidents that also involved Crawford.
On June 18, 2010, police responded to Dowell's home twice in one day, and ended up charging Crawford with burglary, simple assault, making terroristic threats, theft, harassment, criminal mischief and criminal trespass. Crawford was released on bail.
At 6 p.m. the same day - after Crawford had been released - police were again summoned to the Dowell's home for a fire.
Crawford was sentenced to six months to a year imprisonment followed by probation for some of the offenses and was ordered not to contact Dowell, court documents indicate.
Charges of burglary, criminal trespass and simple assault were dropped, the documents state.
Fire: On Aug. 12, 2010, after an arson investigation was completed, police again arrested Crawford and charged him with three counts of arson, aggravated assault, simple assault, burglary, risking a catastrophe, reckless endangerment and criminal trespass.
Police alleged that Crawford had intentionally set the fire, which gutted the woman's basement. He was released on bail for a second time, after which he returned to the woman's home, police said.
The charges against Crawford were dismissed in district court, according to court documents.
On Aug. 24, 2010, police obtained an arrest warrant for Crawford, who was accused of holding Dowell against her will, assaulting her and destroying all her personal documents, police said at the time.
Crawford went to Dowell's home, then in the 500 block of Robin Hill Circle in Manchester Township, on Aug. 24 and assaulted her, police alleged.
He kept her from leaving for a time, but eventually she was able to escape, police said. After she left, Crawford shredded all her personal documents, as well as numerous credit cards, police said.
Crawford was charged with simple assault, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, stalking and criminal mischief, police said.
But those charges were also dismissed in district court, documents show.
After the Aug. 24 assault, the woman obtained a protection from abuse order against Crawford, police said.
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