Bludgeoning murder trial pushed back two months


More than three years have passed without a trial since the killing of C. Jennifer Dowell and the subsequent arrest of Ross William Crawford, and on Tuesday proceedings were pushed back another two months.

Crawford, 42, of Manchester Township, who was charged June 8, 2012, with first-degree murder and stalking in the death of his on-again, off-again girlfriend. His trial had most recently been scheduled for November of this year, but on Tuesday defense attorneys asked for and received a continuance so they could get the mental health evaluations of Crawford, a veteran, from the military.

Common Pleas Judge Richard K. Renn granted the motion after first assistant district attorney Jennifer Russell stated the the prosecution had no issue with it.

Renn scheduled jury selection to begin Jan. 11; the trial is likely to last about two weeks, he said.

Northern York County Regional Police said at the time that Crawford killed Dowell, 53, inside her 507 Cedar Village Drive, Manchester Township, home by hitting her on the head.

He'd been out of prison for less than three weeks when Dowell was killed. Crawford was supposed to be on house arrest, according to court records, but his electronic monitoring had not yet been set up.

— Reach Sean Cotter at