WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A Mount Vernon man charged with fatally stabbing three women was arraigned in Westchester County Court on Monday in two of the slayings.
Lucius Crawford, 60, of 7 Beekman Ave., was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of second-degree murder, a felony, and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, in the slayings of Tonya Simmons Dec. 4, 2012 and LaRonda Shealy Sept. 13, 1993. Mount Vernon Police have said he is the "closest we've had to a serial killer."
The new indictment replaces the existing murder charge against Crawford related to the fatal stabbing of Simmons and adds a new murder charge in the killing of Shealy.
Crawford was first arrested in December 2012 after he was accused of stabbing Simmons 19 times at 7 Beekman Ave., Mount Vernon. The two were seen going into the location, then the suspect left alone shortly thereafter, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's Office. He then called 911 twice telling them someone was hurt at the location.
Following his arrest, Crawford was questioned by Yonkers police, who said he confessed to the cold-case killing of Shealy in Yonkers and Nella West in the Bronx in 1993.
Crawford was indicted in the Bronx on Dec. 18, 2012, in the Oct. 23, 1993 stabbing death of West after a DNA match linked him to her body found on Liebig Avenue in the Bronx. The Bronx County District Attorney is prosecuting that case.
“Three women, all viciously and repeatedly stabbed to death," Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a statement. "One victim was stabbed more than two dozen times, the other almost a dozen."
Crawford remains in Westchester County Jail and is due back in court Feb. 13.
He faces a maximum sentence of twenty five years to life in state prison on each of the murder counts.
Assistant District Attorney Patricia Murphy, Division Chief of the Superior Court Trial Division and Senior Assistant District Attorney Paula Branca-Santos of the Major Case Bureau, are prosecuting the case.